Angora Goats: Why Every Herd Needs a Daisy!

Tina Evans and her goats are growing silky, curly mohair in the Peach State. She gave us an update on how kidding season is going and what’s so special about Daisy.

Debbie Blair May 10, 2024 - 11 min read

Angora Goats: Why Every Herd Needs a Daisy! Primary Image

Two kids pose for the camera at Dry Creek Naturals in western Georgia. All photos by Tina Evans

Where does mohair come from? Angora goats—generally small compared to dairy goats or sheep—produce stunning mohair with beautiful luster and drape. The finest mohair, known as kid, seems to be more popular than ever, giving many a knitter a brushed bloom to their knits. When carried along with other yarns, mohair adds additional warmth—it’s a wonderful insulator. Adding mohair to socks (either in a blend or by carrying along a strand of laceweight in the heels and toes) adds durability and warmth—try it instead of nylon.

According to Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius in The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, the finest fibers can be used for baby garments or any garment worn next to the skin. Midrange fibers are ideal for durable and elegant clothing, pillows, and blankets, with some individuals being able to tolerate the fabric next to their skin and others who will not. Mohair fabrics will resist creasing and wrinkles, tend not to attract or hold dirt, and don’t pill as shorter fibers might.

Tina Evans knitted this beautiful shawl using handspun 2-ply yarn from her goat Henna’s dark red fleece. The yarn has a faint halo, and the shawl’s drape comes through even in garter stitch.

Known for their relaxed, docile personalities and gentle nature, Angora females—does—have horns and long, droopy ears. Tina Evans of Dry Creek Naturals raises Angora goats in black, red, brown, and white on her Georgia farm. With her small herd, she can breed for specific traits like temperament and fleece quality that add to her labor of love. We caught up with Tina and asked her to share more about her herd, fiber, and, more specifically, her Angora babies!

Farm & Fiber Knits: How many of your does kidded this year, and how many kids did you get?
Dry Creek Naturals: Five kids were born between March 20th and 24th. I only bred three does last fall, as I am no longer building a herd; I’m only breeding for my personal spinning and weaving. I do sell washed mohair locks, both natural colored and hand-dyed. I’ll keep the two doe kids for breeding, and the wethers [castrated males] will grow fiber. Wethers can produce top-quality mohair and live happily with the does.


FFK: Are twins or triplets common?
DCN: I mostly end up with twins, but if I breed large groups of does, I usually have several sets of triplets. Angora kids don’t accept bottle feeding easily and can be hard to supplement, and most does will insist on feeding all three. Angora does are high-producing goats that grow pounds of mohair, have multiple kids, and produce a lot of milk.

This spring’s kidding season yielded a doe with a surprising colorway.

FFK: Did you have any surprises this year?
DCN: My surprise this year was a red doe kid with white legs. I’ve had a lot of patterned kids over the years but she is the first in a long time. She is out of my “Ruby” bloodline that has the finest hair.

FFK: Can you tell us about a special kid or mama?
DCN: Daisy is a special doe because she is one of the does that are very friendly for no reason except that they enjoy your company. Her mother and grandmother were the same; when a doe is like that, her kids are like that, and the trait is passed down the bloodline. Those does will follow me to new pasture or into the barn for health checks. Goats are thinkers—they don’t flock like sheep and it can be difficult to make them do something they don’t want to do. It’s good to have a Daisy goat in every herd.

Get a closer look! Click the video or any image in the gallery below to open it in full-screen mode.

Clockwise from top left: Sweet Daisy with her twins. These curious twins are looking for trouble! Snack time for Calamity Jane.

FFK: When are the kids sheared?
DCN: Since I do all of my own shearing, I shear when the fleece is ready. That’s usually when the kid is six months old and big enough to shear. A good feeding program is essential for hair and body growth: high protein grain, good hay, and goat mineral in an area where the kids can eat away from the does.

FFK: How much fiber does one of your kids produce?
DCN: Most kids average three pounds of fiber at first clip. It also depends on the breeding; my kids are heavy producers. If fed well, they will grow in size and grow mohair. If not fed well, they will grow mohair, but the body suffers.

FFK: Since kid, yearling, and adult mohair has a classing system that is different from sheep, can you explain a little about this?
DCN: It's possible for an adult’s fleece to be classed as kid or yearling type. A kid’s fleece can be classed as adult. It’s all in the breeding, not by age or the first or third clip. If you have bred a lot of goats and know your bloodlines, it’s easier to predict which goats have the finer hair. Within a herd, the first clip is usually the finest and will coarsen as the goat ages, but some goats can hold their kid fleece as an adult. That’s what you select for.

Kid-grade mohair produced by young goats is the softest. These swatches knitted by Katie Weston show off the fluff factor that comes from knitting with mohair. Top: kid mohair; bottom: kid mohair blended with Merino wool. Photos by Matt Graves

FFK: Can you tell us a little more about the colors that you have bred for handspinning fiber?
DCN: Natural-colored Angora goats and their mohair come in a variety of colors and types of fleeces. No two are exactly the same. I shear and process all my fleeces, some to sell and others to use for farm-to-fabric finished scarves, shawls, yarn, etc. I select does for breeding that have a fleece that catches my eye, a silky handle, any shade of red, and a fleece that is easy to wash and spin; luster is a bonus. If you breed for these traits, you will have fleeces that are a pleasure to work with.

FFK: Will you share some fun facts about kids, or mother-and-kid interactions?
DCN: Angora goats have a strong bond with their family members. I have sold goats that have come back to my flock two to three years later. They immediately find their mother and siblings, become part of their former group, flock together, and sleep together. Separating goats from their herd is very stressful for them.

Get a closer look! Click the video or any image in the gallery below to open it in full-screen mode.

Clockwise from top left: TikTok lays with her kid, Pink, with Ruby’s twins behind her; not many does let other kids lay that close. Whimsey and her fiesty doe kid, Fiesta. These kids like to play King of the Hill with mama.

FFK: What is a day on your farm like?
DCN: Producing top-quality mohair is a lot of work. It all starts with excellent nutrition. Parasites can be the biggest obstacle in the humid Southeast, but proper nutrition is the key to conquering this. Most of my day is spent feeding, watering, and general caring for the goats. Watching goats while they are eating or how they are acting will give you clues to what is going on. I always have fleeces in different stages at once: on the skirting table, soaking in tubs, in dyepots, and drying in the sun. It’s more than a full-time job, but it’s also a labor of love. The best part of my day is going on a goat walk in the woods.

FFK: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your goats?
DCN: I’ve been breeding Angora goats for a long time and have developed my own bloodlines, bringing in a new buck when needed. A buck can change your whole program. My current buck, Bandera, has been the best match for my breeding, and it took a long time to get there.

Follow Dry Creek Naturals on Instagram @drycreeknaturals to see more of their goats and their farm. Meet Tina and see her fibers at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair this October in Fletcher, North Carolina. If you’re near Taylorsville, Georgia, visit the Dry Creek Naturals retail studio at The Store, located in the old Post Office.

Debbie Blair is the associate editor of Spin Off magazine. A lifelong crafter and avid reader, she finds her happy place reading and relaxing next to a mountain stream.