16 Nov 2018

Mohair, mo' money: farming Angora goats in Canterbury

From Country Life, 9:21 pm on 16 November 2018
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Photo: RNZ/Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Glenn Gamble has a flock of 400 mohair-producing Angora goats on his Canterbury farm.

Glenn was still a kid when he bought his first goats back in 1980.

Then 12 years ago, when sheep prices were really poor, he started farming Angora goats alongside sheep and cattle.

Now the Angoras are the main focus of his farming operation.

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Photo: RNZ/Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

The goats are shorn twice a year and generally produce about two kilograms of fleece each time.

In the last selling pool, their fleece sold for between $18 and $20 a kilo and even the stain from around the goats' backside sold for up to $8 a kilo. 

The value of the wool from Glenn's crossbred sheep doesn't even come close to that, he says.

Most of Glenn's mohair is sold to buyers in South Africa, where it's turned into fabrics for clothing and high-end furniture coverings.

China is looming as another potential mohair market.

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