Sunday, July 5, 2009


I finally got started on shearing! I know it is LATE in the year to just start shearing, but between weather, injuries and fencing I didn't have the time earlier.

I started on Valentino, my heavy Nigora buck, yesterday and got most of one side and half the other done, but my elbow went out, so had to quit for the day. Got out there this morning and got him finished. He is small enough that when I got to the point I needed him on his side for his belly, I just picked him up and laid him down on it. He just laid there and let me finish him up and then walked back to his pen on lead.

Tomorrow I'll try and get a start on Sabino, the easier of the twins to work with. He will stand there and let me shear him without a fight. While Frio, his twin brother will fight the whole time I'm working on him, so he will have to wait until I have some help.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Goals for the farm

I've been thinking lately about my goals here at the farm. I was wanting to work with the Navajo Angora Goats, but also like the Nigora Goat. So, have been really looking at the two breeds and what I want out of my goats. I don't really need a goat that can produce 5 pounds of fiber twice a year, since it is mainly for my own use. So, really beginning to think that the Nigoras might be better, in that they will still give me fiber, but are also dairy goats. So, have decided to concentrate on the Nigoras. I would have a small goat to work with rather than a large goat.

I love the Navajo Angora Goats, but with rarity, it makes it hard to find good stock, that isn't closely related, to what I already have. They are also a nice size goat, most weigh about 150 pounds and are about 36" at the shoulder. That makes it hard for me to handle them for shearing, trimming hooves and other care.

With this decision, I have to decide which of my angoras that I'm going to keep and which are going to go. I know that Hawkeye, my herd buck, Yazzie, a NAG wether with a fantastic fleece and Strawberry will all stay. That leaves Crescent, son of Hawkeye and Strawberry, who isn't needed for my breeding herd and Strawberry twin sons, Sabino and Frio. The twins produce wonderful white fleece, but it does take a bit of work to get clean, as it is greasy and in ringlets. Crescent will be the same color as his father, when he is full grown, so his fleece color I already have. So, I think those three will go up for sale. Crescent is a full buck, but could be wethered, while the twins are wethers.

Looking at the babies born this year, I'm thinking about selling all but Sandstorm and St. Helen. Sandstorm is out of Valentino x Sapphire and is a beautiful blue-eyed, gold and white natural poll buck. St. Helen is out of ? x Diva and is a beautiful blue-eyed, white with black markings doe. I think that they will both be good for my Nigora breeding program.

I am going to add a small handspinner's flock of sheep to the farm. I have two Shetland and one Jacob ewe on reserve with a friend. She also has two angora does, a angora wether (slate gray) and a mininubian doe for me. I'll breed the mininubian doe to my Nigerian buck for more mini's.