Friday, April 10, 2015

goat coats

What shall I do today after morning chores?


Oh, I know!

I'll comb goats again.

These are three of my rake-style combs, which I brought in and washed last night. I use an assortment of combs and brushes, usually three or four per goat, per session. This year I've been using two slickers, four rakes, and two combs.

(I own one hairbrush, by the way.)

Someone recently asked about the length of topcoat on cashmere goats. Very variable! For example, these boys are full brothers, and yet are at two ends of a spectrum.

Betula has an incredibly long topcoat. I call it "Hollywood Hair" because when he runs his coat flows and it looks like he's moving in slow-motion. Betula produces very white cashmere. It is not easy to comb it out from under all that long topcoat:

By contrast, brother Acer has a very short, dense topcoat, much like a plush toy. He produces grey/taupe cashmere:

Some cashmere breeders have a color preference, but I enjoy all the variation in my little gang's fiber. I've been told even the darker cashmere takes dye beautifully; maybe one day I will experiment.

Meanwhile, a challenge awaits.

This is going to be a two-pockets-full-of-carrot-pennies operation.



  1. So coarse looking on the top, but so fuzzy underneath. I never knew.

  2. Neat post.
    Goats will never look the same to me.
    Combing a goat looks difficult.

  3. Isn't that an amazing thing - you would think that siblings would have the same coat. Such beautiful hair on both Betula and Acer - I imagine knitters would LOVE the yarn that would come from them.

  4. I like that you have a minimum of grooming tools Quinn for the use of! But that looks like a long job, combing out Betula. What happens after you comb out? Card? Spin?

  5. I forgot to ask how goats groom? That white coat looks amazing. So clean.

  6. Wow, that last photo really shows what a big job brushing a goat can be. What glorious long fur! I see why you think of it as "Hollywood Hair"!

  7. I can just imagine the length of time it takes for the combing! I take a long time just combing my dog's double coat, and he's tiny compared to your goats. I'll bet the pocket full of carrots never lasts long enough either ;)

  8. I imagine that does take some work. Do they like the combing or get bored with it after a little while? I have a comb for Jingles. She begs to be combed, lets me get to all corners and then when she decides she's had enough, she's out of there. :) Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  9. I would love to sink my hands into one of them! What a big job that is, my friend - here's to LOTS and LOTS of carrot pennies, and sunshine! XOXO

  10. I wonder if Miss Piper's groomings will ever provide you with a hairy sweater :-)

  11. Do you get a lot of guard hairs in the combings? Two of my Kinders had thick downy undercoats but combing yielded a lot of top coat as well. Not very pleasant.

  12. Loved this post! I would love to help you comb these beautiful animals :)


Thank you for leaving a comment! I enjoy reading each one, and will usually reply either here or on YOUR blog!

Due to spam, Anonymous comments are blocked. I'm hoping to avoid the annoying Word Verification gizmo! If you find you cannot leave a comment, please email me so we can try to sort it out.