Working the Range: Essays on the History of Western Land Management and the Environment

By John R. Wunder | Go to book overview

PAUL H. CARLSON


9
The Development of the Angora Goat Industry in Texas

In 1980 Texas ranchers produced over 90 percent of all Angora goats in the United States and some 97 percent of all the country's mohair. 1 Ranchers in Texas, grazing nearly 1.5 million Angora goats that provided over 8 million pounds of mohair, produced nearly half of the world's mohair clip in that year. 2 The value of Angoras and their mohair in the state has been estimated at close to $150 million. Although these figures are impressive, the Texas Angora goat industry has not received much modern-day attention, and historians have virtually ignored the subject. 3

A native of Asian Turkey, the Angora goat has spiral horns and a silky white fleece that hangs down in curly locks all over its body. Although most people prefer the meat of Angoras more than other goat species, the Angora is the most important breed for raising and selling goat hair. Its mohair makes a sleek cloth that is widely used for robes, capes, suits, and plush upholstery. Mohair goats today are crossbreeds between the delicate Angora and the Spanish goat--a cross that combines good mohair production with physical hardiness. Angora goats thrive best where there is a variety of brush and shrubbery which should include live oak and other evergreen browse to afford plenty of variety throughout the year. The vast Edwards

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