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 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, 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
Prices can be very erratic and also vary seasonally. An example is that when does were in kid, and approaching the date for income tax returns, there was stronger demand.
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. 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 registered, 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.