|"Goats By Breed - Pygora"|
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Pygoras: The Goat for All Seasons/Reasons|
The Pygora Goat is a medium-size fiber goat developed from crossing registered Angora and Pygmy goats. Pygoras draw their docility and fleece from the Angora and their colors, hardiness and playfulness from the Pygmy. They are rapidly gaining popularity and are now being raised all across the continent. They thrive in many diverse climates from Maine to California, British Columbia to Florida. Although bred primarily for fiber, Pygora goats are also well suited as pets, browsers, and meat & milk producers. Because of their size and friendly dispositions, youngsters often choose them for 4-H projects.
Origin of the Pygora Breed
Beauty More Than Skin Deep
Breed Standards, creating the “Pygora” as a cross between an American Angora Goat Breeders Association (AAGBA) Angora and a National Pygmy Goat Association (NPGA) Pygmy were developed in 1990. These Standards specify that Angora/Pygmy mixtures may contain up to, but not more than, 75% of one of the parent breeds. A minimum height requirement of 18 inches for does and 23 inches for bucks is required. There is no maximum height restriction. Most kids weigh about 5 pounds at birth. Does range in weight from 65-75 pounds, while bucks and wethers range from 75-95 pounds.
Breed Standards permit goats with or without horns. The majority of Pygora breeders do disbud their animals at an early age for their own convenience (keeps animals from getting hung up in feeders and fences, for example) or to provide a safer animal for youngsters. Whether or not to disbud is a personal preference or decision.
All Pygmy colors and their dilutions plus white are acceptable. Color markings resembling other breeds do not meet Pygora breed standards.
Coats of Many Colors-and Kinds
Pygora goats produce three distinct types of fleece: type A, similar to the fleece of an Angora goat; type B, more like a blend of the angora fiber and the pygmy fiber; and type C, like cashmere. Between these types, there are variations and combinations-just as sheep often produce variations in fleece even within the same breed.
Most Pygoras produce from 6 ounces to 2 pounds of fiber per shearing. Many type As or A/Bs are clipped two-or even three-times a year. True type A animals must be shorn or clipped. Types B and C will shed (blow) their fleeces in the spring if the fiber is not removed. Goats with B and C type fleeces may be shorn, combed, or plucked. All types will matt if left too long on the animal.
Generally, with the exception of some A type fleeces, the Pygora goat produces guard hair and a “down”. In many cases, it is desirable to remove guard hairs from the down before spinning the fiber. The removal process may be done commercially or by hand. Dehairing by hand produces a wonderful, soft product but is time and labor-intensive. New and more accessible commercial dehairing equipment promises to make ready-to-spin Pygora fiber much more plentiful and available.
Pygora fiber takes color well and dyes ranging from Kool-aid to natural to commercial products produce a full range of fiber colors and shades. Equally exciting, on the other hand, are the colors found in the natural Pygora fiber itself. Most Pygora breeders find it is useful to keep a herd of both white and colored animals.
The Pygora Breeders Association
The Pygora Breeders Association is now firmly established and has over 100 members from across the US and Canada. It has By Laws, an elected Board with representation from all regions of the US, a quarterly newsletter, breeders and membership directories and a web site: http://www.pba-pygora.com. Sanctioned Pygora Shows with trained and certified judges are held throughout the year.
Jorgensen, Katharine. The goat for all seasons/reasons. Fiberfest Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Fall 1993.
Pygora Breeders’ Association. Judge’s training manual. Lysander, NY. Rev. 9/06/02.
Pygora Breeders’ Association. Questions and answers about the pygora goat. Undated.
Pygora Breeders’ Association. Pygora goat fiber and its uses. The Goat Magazine, Vol. 6, Number 5, June/July 2002.
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