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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Naked goat time 
22nd-Jun-2015 09:08 pm
The goats were sheared yesterday - just in time for the real summer heat to start up. It's supposed to be in the mid/high 90's tomorrow. We had a couple of nicks and scrapes, but nothing like Summer's broken horn or Pan losing part of an ear. With Jared and Cookie gone, the biggest goat was Ari, and his hair isn't anything near as sticky as his grandfather's was*. The fleeces are mostly horrible, felted, matted, crappy piles of stinking wet hair. I should have sheared a month ago when we had our first hot spell, not a month into the heat with so much rain. Sigh. It's ok, though. I care most about the goats being less stressed. I have plenty of fleece, and I know I'll have more in another six months.

Naked time!

*But wow, he looks so much like Jared did at that age, especially the head and horns. It's a little uncanny. Besides being a grey goat, he doesn't look anything like his father, thankfully. Those bug-eyes weren't attractive and were very obvious right after shearing. Ari looks more like his uncle Scout (also sired by Jared) than his dad. The head-and-horns area are alike and easy to recognize.
26th-Jun-2015 01:12 pm (UTC)
Hi Reedrover - what makes a buck's hairy sticky? I have that problem too. I've just been throwing out my buck's hair for years. Maybe related to the way he pees all over himself - but it's sticky ALL over, and he mainly pees on his face.
26th-Jun-2015 04:17 pm (UTC)
Angoras, especially adults, can have a lot of oil/wax in their hair. It's natural, and the amount of it is highly correlated to genetics. Unfortunately, the weaker the lock structure is (how tight and independent each curl is), the more that oil will glue the hair together. Jared had a very thick fleece that did not have tight curl as he aged, and there was a lot of oil in it. In the wintertime, that oil would get very solid, sticking his hair together and making the hair very hard to cut. As I like to describe it, shearing a heavy-fleeced Angora in the winter is like cutting a candle with a pair of scissors.

Unless the hair is actually felted, the sticky will wash out in hot water with a little Dawn dish detergent. It's just oil.

And yes, I throw away my buck fleeces in the November shearing, and all of the belly hair in the June shearing, due to urine staining and the smell.

Edited at 2015-06-26 04:18 pm (UTC)
27th-Jun-2015 01:15 am (UTC)
Thanx, Reedrover. It makes sense. Some of my older girls have even seemed to have "waxy" hair. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to the buck, it sometimes doesn't seem to wash out, even with my usual hot-water-and-Tide bath.
27th-Jun-2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
To be honest, this many years into having goats, I usually throw out any fleece that is more work than I want. I'm not trying to make money here, just not lose too much. So if the hair is excessively dirty, greasy, or stained, it goes to the dump with no tears shed.
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