When it comes to buying Angoras at the top end of the price scale, the usual criteria of conformation, size and fibre quality have to be taken into account.
The requirements will differ according to whether the buyer is aiming to establish a pure-bred registered flock, or simply to produce top quality mohair.
Undoubtedly registered Angora bucks are the surest way to achieve mohair quality, but Ross Aitken’s comments (see ‘Breeding Policy’) show that useful Angora bucks that do not measure up to the high demands for registration, are available; at the right price they may suit those with strictly commercial objectives in mind.
It is also possible of course to find a 01 — possibly even a G2 — which shows excellent fleece quality. When fleeces are graded at Pukekohe, G3 and 01 fleeces can wind up in the same bin, so that a farmer intent on mohair production and with no interest in achieving registration status in his flock, will buy accordingly.
- The mid-rib area is most representative of the fleece as a whole;
- Kemp is most likely to be found on the backline and britch;
- The coarsest fibres grow on the
Range of Prices Paid For Goats:
- Feral does 75-200
- G4 wethers 25-40
- G4 does 400-600
- G4 doe kids 200-400
- G3 does 600-2000
- G2 does 2000-5000
- G1 does 4000-12000
- A grade Angora does 6000-25000
- 01 bucks 2000-8000
- A grade Angora bucks 9000-140000 Cashmere bucks 100-12000
It is evident from this that prices have been very erratic. Prices also varied seasonally; when does were in kid, and approaching the date for income tax returns, there was stronger demand.
The following are suggested as budget averages but it should be acknowledged that prices may rise further before starting to ease back and that much depends on how diligently the buyer researches the market.
- Feral does $100
- G4 wethers $30
- G4 does $450
- G4 doe kids $300
- G3 does $1200
- G2 does $4000
- 01 does $9000
- A grade Angora does $20000 G1 bucks $5000 A grade Angora bucks $25000 Cashmere bucks
chest; if the chest mohair is straight, check that this straightness does not extend back past the shoulder;
- Kemp around the horns may indicate kemp in the fleece;
- Mohair on the tail may indicate good overall coverage;
- Beware of black fibre growing from black spots on the skin;
- Watch out for a pale ginger patch on the back of the neck as being most undesirable;
- Close-set horns on bucks can do damage to other goats; give preference to those with horns set wide apart;
- Select for belly covering that is comparable in quality to that on the flanks.
If buying Angora does, one should check the belly for scars, which will indicate that the animal has been operated on for embryo-transplants; the breeding life can be limited by these operations. In the case of pure-bred Angora bucks, ensure that the registration on its certificate is the same as that tattooed in its ear.
A clear understanding of the Angora registration system, and how it has developed, is important. Buying on grade alone can be dangerous (e.g. registered two-tooth bucks varied in price from $9,000 to $142,000; somebody obviously thought there was a major variation in quality). More importantly, there is a large difference between animals registered and those registered say five years earlier. Not only has breeding improved standards, but the registration itself has become stricter. Some aged, registered Angoras are simply not in the same league as the more-recently regis¬tered, younger animals.
From now onwards, it is going to be a case of ‘let the buyer beware’ as the registration system changes to allow all fifth-generation-or-better progeny to be automatically registered, without inspection. This is going to make it even more important for buyers at the top end of the range to know what to look for.
It may well be worth buying Angoras locally, if other factors are equal, since there is some evidence that climatic conditions influence fineness of fibre. In other words, a buck with a fleece with a good micron measurement may, when moved to a different area, start to grow a coarser fleece.
Australian animals have brought a premium over local stock, but it is dif-ficult to justify this. A high level of in-breeding resulting from the original Banksia stud is characteristic of Australian Angoras, which is reflected in a rather high level of congenital abnor-malities.
Stock coming to New Zealand from Australia have to pass stringent disease tests, including a CAE-negative test of the herd of origin. In addition, imports have been limited to stock born south of latitude 26 S.
These factors do not seem sufficient to warrant the premium paid by New Zealand buyers for goats from Australia which locally sell for much less (at Adelaide stud Angora bucks averaged $A546 with the top price $A3500 and at Bendigo stud Angora does averaged $A194 and 01 does $A67).
The premium for Australian cashmere stock appears somewhat more logical. Australian breeders are two or three generations of breeding and selection ahead of their New Zealand counterparts.
They have identified superior bucks and practiced objective selection. But bucks which produce over $40 worth of cashmere, and which sold recently in Australia for over $10,000, had not found their way to this country at time of writing.