The Cashmere goat is not any specific breed of goat. Rather, any breed of goat that produces cashmere wool, is a Cashmere goat. The word Cashmere is an old spelling of Kashmir, India. These goats are the producers of fine quality cashmere wool.
Cashmere wool is defined by the high quality and softness of the fiber found in the region of Kashmir. And the Cashmere goats are raised for this cashmere wool (the goat’s fine, soft, downy, winter undercoat).
The undercoat of this goat grows as the day shortens and is associated with an outer coat of coarse hair. Coarse hair is present in this type of goats all the year and is called guard hair. Most common goat breeds grow this two-coated fleece, including the dairy goats.
The fiber of the Cashmere goat is so luxurious that the Arc of the Covenant of the old testament was lined and curtained with it. About 60 percent of the worlds supply of cashmere is produced in China.
And the remainder from Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kashmir, Australia and New Zealand (according to the Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal Science).
Today there are many breeds of goat available which produce fine quality cashmere wool. And Cashmere goats are available throughout the world. The cashmere goat is a fiber goat along with the Pygora goat, Nigora goat, and the Angora goat. Read more information below.
Cashmere Goat Characteristics
Size and weight of Cashmere goat vary depending on the breed. Coat color and many other physical characteristics also different depending on the type of goat. But one common thing is that ‘most of these breeds produce fine quality fiber or wool’.
And most of the cashmere producing goat breeds have horns. Some cashmere producing goat breeds are; Alashanzuoqi White, Australian, Changthangi, Hexi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Licheng Daqing, Luliang Black, Tibetan Plateau, Wuzhumuqin, Zhongwei etc. Photo from Wikipedia.
Providing a good and suitable housing system for these goats is very important for their health and well being. An ideal shelter of the goat should provide protection from harsh weather conditions, especially during cold winters and scorching summers.
Ensure adequate ventilation system inside the house, because it is crucial to prevent humidity and reduce the risk of respiratory issues. Providing ample space within the shelter minimizes overcrowding and promotes a comfortable living environment.
Clean and dry bedding is essential to maintain hygiene and prevent health problems. Secure fencing ensures the safety of the goats and safeguards them from potential predators.
However, by offering well-designed housing, you can ensure the animals are content, healthy, and primed for the production of high-quality cashmere fiber.
Feeding these goats is a very important part of their care that directly influences the quality of their luxurious cashmere fiber.
These beautiful goats thrive on a balanced diet consisting of high-quality forage, grains, and supplemental nutrients. Providing them with clean and fresh water is essential for their overall health and digestion.
It’s important to monitor their nutrition closely, especially during the harsh winter months when access to grazing may be limited.
By ensuring a proper diet and attentive care, these goats can produce the finest, softest fibers, making them not only a joy to nurture but also a valuable source of this coveted natural material.
Breeding Cashmere goats is a meticulous process that aims to produce the finest quality cashmere fiber. Selecting the right breeding stock is very important.
Breeders generally opt for controlled mating to ensure desired traits are passed on to the offspring. The breeding season is carefully timed to coincide with favorable weather conditions for kidding and to optimize the quality of the cashmere produced.
Close monitoring of both the dam and her kids is vital during this period to ensure their well-being. Successful breeding programs not only contribute to the growth of the cashmere industry but also promote healthier and more resilient Cashmere populations.
Caring for these goats is relatively easy and simple, because they are very strong and hardy animals. Their caring task involves a combination of attention to their physical well-being and their unique fiber-producing qualities.
Regular health checkups, vaccinations, and parasite control are essential to ensure their overall health. Proper nutrition, including a balanced diet of forage and supplemental feeds, is crucial to maintain their body condition and support cashmere growth.
Grooming and gentle handling help to keep their luxurious cashmere coats clean and free from debris, ensuring premium fiber quality. Adequate shelter and protection from extreme weather conditions are also vital components of their care.
Cashmere goats are primarily used for fiber or cashmere wool production. Some Cashmere goats are also suitable for meat, milk or skin production.
Most of the Cashmere goats are easy to raise. They require minimal care and are usually healthy animals. But they require regular grooming. Most of them are not jumpers like many other domestic goat breeds.
Usually they are sheared once a year and a fully grown buck will produce from a several grams to up to 1 kg of fleece. And their fleece consists of two kinds of fiber, which are cashmere and guard hair.
Depending on the breed, average cashmere percentages are in the 20 percent range. The cashmere producers can either sell the fleece to wholesale buyers or at retail prices to hand spinners. Review full profile of this breed below.
|Depends on the breed
|Depends on the breed, but most breeds have horns.
|Many, depends on the breed
|Good for Stall Fed
|Country/Place of Origin
|Depends on the breed
Interesting Facts About Cashmere Goats
Here we are going to explore the top interesting facts about Cashmere goats.
1. Origins of the Breed
Cashmere goats, as their name suggests, trace their origins to the Kashmir region in India. The breed was originally developed in the Himalayan foothills, where the goat’s fine undercoat helped them adapt to the region’s harsh climate.
2. Dual-Purpose Breed
Cashmere is considered as a dual-purpose breed of goat. And they are able to produce both high-quality cashmere fiber and meat. However, their cashmere production is their most celebrated attribute.
3. Cashmere Fiber is Rare
Cashmere fiber is considered one of the rarest and most luxurious natural fibers in the world. It is cherished for its softness, warmth, and lightweight qualities.
4. Ultra-Fine Fiber
The finest cashmere fibers measure only 14-19 microns in diameter, making them significantly finer than human hair. This contributes to the cashmere’s remarkable softness.
5. The Undercoat
Cashmere goats have a thick outer coat and a soft, downy undercoat. It is the undercoat that is used to produce cashmere fiber.
6. Seasonal Shedding
Cashmere goats typically shed their undercoat in the spring. This is when the fiber is collected, as it is in its most prime condition.
7. Prized by Royalty
Cashmere fiber has been favored by royalty for centuries. It has been worn by emperors, kings, and queens, earning it the title “fiber of kings.”
8. Global Distribution
Cashmere goats are now found in many parts of the world, including China, Mongolia, Iran, Australia, and New Zealand. The breed has adapted well to various climates.
9. Pashmina, Not Just a Scarf
The term “Pashmina” refers to a type of cashmere fabric made from the finest fibers. It is often used to create high-quality scarves and shawls known for their exceptional softness.
10. Cashmere Goat Breeds
Several breeds of goats contribute to cashmere production, with the most well-known being the Changthangi, Tibetan, and Inner Mongolian breeds.
11. High Maintenance
Cashmere goats require extra care and attention due to their fine fiber. This includes proper nutrition, shelter, and protection from harsh weather conditions.
12. Unique Horns
Cashmere goats typically have distinctive, twisted horns that add to their elegance and charm.
13. Exceptional Climbers
Cashmere goats are excellent climbers, which is a trait they developed to navigate the steep slopes of their native Himalayan habitat.
14. Adaptable Diet
These goats have a broad diet, consuming a variety of plants, shrubs, and grasses. Their adaptability makes them well-suited to diverse environments.
Cashmere production is often praised for its sustainability, as the goats help maintain the ecosystem by grazing on unwanted vegetation.
16. Annual Yield
On average, a Cashmere goat produces between 4 to 6 ounces of cashmere fiber per year. This highlights the rarity and value of the fiber.
17. Genetic Variability
Selective breeding programs have resulted in a wide range of Cashmere goat colors, including white, brown, gray, and black.
Cashmere goats have a relatively long lifespan, with some individuals living up to 15 years or more when properly cared for.
19. Vulnerable to Disease
They are susceptible to certain diseases, such as internal parasites, so regular veterinary care is essential to their health.
20. Sustainable Farming
Responsible and sustainable cashmere farming practices focus on maintaining the health of both the goats and the environment.
21. Fiber Collection
Collecting cashmere fiber is a labor-intensive process that involves combing or shearing the goats. The collected fiber is then carefully processed and sorted.
22. Luxurious Fashion
Cashmere is often associated with high-end fashion brands due to its premium quality and softness, making it a popular choice for sweaters, scarves, and other clothing items.
23. Economic Impact of the Breed
Cashmere production significantly contributes to the livelihoods of people in regions where the goats are raised, providing income and employment opportunities.
24. Conservation Efforts
Conservation organizations are working to protect and preserve the Cashmere goat breed, ensuring its continued existence for future generations.
Tips for Raising Cashmere Goats
Raising Cashmere goats is relatively easy and simple. These elegant goats are prized for their luxurious cashmere fiber and unique characteristics. However, they do require special care and attention to thrive. Here we are going to share some tips for raising Cashmere goats.
1. Make a Business Plan
First of all, make a good and effective business plan before starting this business. A good and effective business plan helps to run the business smoothly. Ask for help from an expert if you are new in this business.
2. Start Small and Expand Gradually
We always recommend starting with small amount of goats, gather experience and expand gradually.
3. Choose the Right Breed
Start by selecting the right breed of Cashmere goats for your region and specific needs. Common breeds include the Changthangi, Tibetan, and Inner Mongolian.
4. Provide Good Shelter
Provide a secure and well-ventilated shelter for your Cashmere goats. Ensure protection from harsh weather conditions, especially during cold winters.
5. Prevent Overcrowding
Avoid overcrowding in the shelter and grazing areas to reduce stress and minimize the risk of disease transmission.
6. Fencing is Crucial
Invest in sturdy fencing to keep your goats safe and prevent them from wandering. Cashmere goats are known for their climbing abilities, so ensure that the fencing is secure.
7. Focus on Nutrition
Providing the animals with good quality and nutritious food is the most important part of raising these goats. Maintain a balanced diet for your goats, consisting of quality forage, grains, and supplemental nutrients. Ensure access to clean and fresh water at all times.
8. Monitor Fiber Growth
Keep a close eye on your goats’ fiber growth, especially during the spring shedding season. This is when the cashmere is at its prime for collection.
9. Practice Regular Grooming
Regularly groom your goats to prevent matting and keep their cashmere clean and healthy.
10. Be Mindful of Parasites
Implement a parasite control program to protect your goats from internal and external parasites.
11. Provide Essential Minerals
Offer mineral supplements, particularly those containing copper and selenium, to ensure your goats’ overall health.
12. Create a Birthing Plan
If you plan to breed your Cashmere goats, have a birthing plan in place and be prepared to assist if needed during kidding.
13. Pay Attention to Kids
Newborn kids require special care and attention. Ensure they receive colostrum and monitor their health closely.
14. Rotate Grazing Areas
Implement a rotational grazing system to prevent overgrazing and allow pastures to recover.
15. Vaccinate Regularly
Follow a vaccination schedule to protect your goats from common diseases like tetanus and enterotoxemia.
16. Quarantine New Arrivals
Quarantine any new goats for a few weeks to prevent the introduction of diseases to your herd.
17. Learn About Fiber Processing
Educate yourself about the proper processing of cashmere fiber to maximize its value and quality.
18. Marketing Products
Marketing the products is the most important part of raising these goats. Consider your marketing strategy for cashmere fiber or products well in advance to reach the right audience.
19. Seek Veterinary Care
Consult with a veterinarian experienced in goat care to address any health concerns promptly.
20. Provide Enrichment
Keep your goats mentally and physically stimulated by providing toys and items for them to explore and play with.
21. Plan for Shearing
Schedule shearing sessions carefully to minimize stress on your goats and ensure a smooth process.
22. Handle with Care
Handle your goats gently and calmly to build trust and reduce anxiety.
23. Prepare for Winter
Winter can be challenging for Cashmere goats. Ensure they have adequate shelter, extra bedding, and access to unfrozen water.
24. Embrace Sustainability
Consider sustainable farming practices to reduce your environmental footprint and maintain the health of your herd.
Related Queries & FAQs
There are lots of questions and queries related to Cashmere goats. Here we are trying to list the common questions and queries about this beautiful goat breed. Hope you will find answers of your questions or queries. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
What are Cashmere goats?
Cashmere goats are a breed known for their soft, luxurious cashmere fiber.
Where do Cashmere goats originate from?
They originated in the Kashmir region of India.
What makes Cashmere fiber special?
Cashmere fiber is prized for its extreme softness, warmth, and lightweight feel.
How fine is Cashmere fiber?
The finest Cashmere fibers can measure only 14-19 microns in diameter, much finer than human hair.
What part of the goat does Cashmere fiber come from?
Cashmere fiber is derived from the goat’s soft undercoat.
How often do Cashmere goats shed their fiber?
They typically shed their undercoat once a year, during the spring.
What colors do Cashmere goats come in?
They come in various colors, including white, brown, gray, and black.
Can Cashmere goats adapt to different climates?
Yes, Cashmere goats can adapt to a wide range of climates.
What is the average lifespan of a Cashmere goat?
With proper care, they can live up to 15 years or more.
How much cashmere fiber does a single goat produce annually?
On average, a Cashmere goat produces 4 to 6 ounces of cashmere fiber per year.
Are Cashmere goats used for meat as well?
Yes, they are considered dual-purpose goats, with their meat also being valuable.
What kind of shelter do Cashmere goats require?
They need a secure and well-ventilated shelter, especially during extreme weather.
Do Cashmere goats need grooming?
Yes, regular grooming is essential to prevent matting and maintain fiber health.
What health issues are common in Cashmere goats?
They can be susceptible to internal and external parasites, so parasite control is crucial.
What vaccinations do Cashmere goats require?
Common vaccinations include tetanus and enterotoxemia vaccines.
Can you breed Cashmere goats with other goat breeds?
Yes, but breeding with other breeds may affect the quality of the cashmere fiber.
How long is the gestation period for Cashmere goats?
It typically lasts around 150 days.
When is the best time to shear Cashmere goats?
The best time to shear is during the spring when they shed their winter coats.
How should I handle a Cashmere goat’s fiber after shearing?
The fiber needs to be properly cleaned and processed to remove impurities.
Can I raise Cashmere goats in a small backyard?
It’s possible but not ideal; they need adequate space to graze.
What should I feed my Cashmere goats?
A balanced diet of forage, grains, and supplemental nutrients is recommended.
How do I know when a Cashmere goat is in distress?
Signs of distress include changes in appetite, behavior, or physical condition.
Are Cashmere goats prone to any specific diseases?
They can be susceptible to various diseases, so regular veterinary care is important.
What is the ideal temperature range for Cashmere goats?
They are comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, but extreme cold or heat can be problematic.
How do I protect my Cashmere goats from predators?
Secure fencing and vigilant monitoring can help deter predators.
What are the benefits of sustainable Cashmere farming practices?
Sustainable practices help maintain the health of the goats and their environment.
Can I sell Cashmere fiber or products locally?
Yes, local markets and online platforms are great options for selling Cashmere products.
What is the difference between cashmere and pashmina?
Pashmina refers to a type of cashmere fabric made from the finest fibers, known for its exceptional softness.
How can I learn more about raising Cashmere goats?
Joining local goat associations and seeking out educational resources is a good start.
Are Cashmere goats a threatened breed?
Some populations of Cashmere goats face conservation challenges, but efforts are underway to protect the breed.