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Goats/angoras in winter


QUESTION: i was given some angora goats as a b-day gift from my mother, they are doing great however i am wondering if come winter i should give them heat lamps indoors? as it does get cold herein Minnesota.
also when would the best time be for autumn shearing?

ANSWER: HI Madeleine,

Congratulations on the new angoras - They are my favorite breed. Shear in autumn as soon as the summer heat dies down a bit.. you want enough time for new growth to  be at least 2 inches or more before the cold weather hits..  I'd shear now.. I shear with hand shears so I do not go down to the skin - I  automatically leave about an inch or so.. and  your area is colder than mine..  Also while it may look a bit  funky - leave a line of longer fiber right down the spine and about 2 inches on each side from neck to tail- this will help keep the  goat warm until they  grow a full fleece -  I don't do this in summer but I do in winter. NEVER EVER use heat lamps for ANY reason.. EVER! PLEASE> Deep straw bedding  that is not cleaned  to the bottom left all winter with new bedding placed on top will give enough warmth for them to bed down in.. as long as they are protected from wind and rain - do not put in a locked up barn.. leave it open  at least by a door so if they need to come out they can.

Winter cold weather care -

good luck with your new goats! You will love the personality of the angoras.. they are just SO sweet.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks, that is pretty much how I kept my cashmere doe last winter good to know no changes will be necessary, however I don't fully understand on the not trimming the top-line, please explain this further?

ANSWER: HI Madeleine,

Angora goats are shorn twice a year in Texas. “Spring” shearing comes in early February through March, just ahead of kidding time. Because of the danger of late-winter cold rain, it is common practice to keep the freshly-shorn goats to small pastures with access to a barn or shed for at least a few days after shearing. This makes it easy to pen and shelter them at night, or even in daytime if a weather emergency arises.

It is common practice in some areas at spring shearing to leave an unshorn strip know as a “cape” down the back to protect the animal’s cold-sensitive spine. Usually – but not always – this cape is later removed by a raised shearing comb or hand shears which leaves a stubble similar in length to the regrowth elsewhere on the body.

“Fall” shearing runs from mid-July through August. Usually the goats are shorn to the skin at this time, leaving them vulnerable to unseasonably cold rains, which on occasion may cause more losses in fall than in spring. Angoras normally produce three-fourths to an inch of hair growth per month, making adult hair average four to six inches in length at each of the semi-annual shearing.

Hope this helps..

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Would the use of a sheep  blanket  negate the necessity  of said "cape"?

HI Madeleine,
Sure.. anything to help keep body heat in..  the shear on the backline exposes them to losing body heat..
I have used a variety of things for goat coats as you noticed in my article on frigid goat care. -

They will do better in cold weather IF they are healthy than you would think.. :)  keep in touch.. and send pics.. :) I am so happy you have angoras..  they are just  awesome  goats!  


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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

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