Nutrition

Most Angora goats (Figs. 1 and 2) are maintained on native rangelands that are diverse in grasses, forbs, and shrubs.[1,2] To support their high rate of fiber production, Angora goats are highly selective browsers, choosing the most nutritious plants or plant parts when available. Maintaining an Angora goat on monocultures such as Bermuda grass can cause nutrition-related problems. Similarly, holding the animals on depleted rangeland without adequate supplementation can also result in many problems. An Angora doe will continue to produce fiber at close to an optimal level even when nutrition is inadequate. At such times, fiber production takes priority over maintenance of body weight or continuation of pregnancy. However, poor nutrition eventually results in production of short (but finer), matted mohair, lower fleece weights, lower reproduction rates, and abortion. An authoritative bulletin[3] contains energy, protein, mineral, and vitamin requirements of Angora goats for a wide range of body weights, different levels of activity, fiber production, growth, and milk production, and different stages of pregnancy. For year-round grazing on Texas rangeland, light, medium, and heavy stocking rates are considered to be one goat per 6.6, 3.3, and 2.2 acres, respectively.1-4-1 Supplementation of Angora goats (e.g., for development of kids, flushing of does, or inadequate forage on the range) and related economics are the subjects of many texts[3,5] and computer programs.1-6-1

Adequate nutrition is important after shearing, which decreases insulation and results in increased energy demand, especially in cold, wet, or windy weather. Providing freshly shorn goats with ample feed before returning them to the range can help avoid catastrophic postshear death losses.

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