Goat Knoll - Cashmere goats and cashmere fiber from an Oregon farm
Cashmere Goat Resources
Good information articles - some of ours, some from others
Note: There are a lot of them and we are just starting to get them posted here, so if you like these, check back soon for more
Fiber Fruit Salad (pdf) - by Linda Singley, Bearlin Acres Farm, Shippensburg, PA - an excellent article about raising different animals together
One page goat care (pdf) - by Goat Knoll, a short summary of care of healthy goats
Weeding and Mulching with Goats (pdf) - by Linda Fox about using those byproducts
Winter Feeding for Goats (pdf) - an excellent article by Frank and Bruce Pinkerton
Barns and Shelters for Goats (pdf) - by Paul Johnson about our barns
Small shelter plan (pdf) - plan and article by Tom Dooling
Fencing (pdf) - A collection of articles about fencing by Paul Johnson and others, including electric fencing.
How to Hotwire a Goat (pdf) - by Yvonne Zweede-Tucker for an electric fencing system for goats
Poisonous Plants for Goats (pdf) - by Paul Johnson, including list of plants and additional information on Rhododendrons
Estimating Cashmere Yield (Word) - by Linda Fox
Combing Cashmere Goats (pdf) - February 2012 by Linda Fox, with updates Septembr 2016
Increasing the Bottom Line (pdf) - August 2016 article about making money with cashmere
Where to Get Your Goat - An old (yet often updated) article about why, where and how much
Show me the Money! (pdf) - An old article about how to make money with cashmere goats. The numbers are old, but the concepts are still valid
You can find
your initial breeding stock on the internet, in newspaper ads, Breeders'
Directories in livestock associations' literature, and through organizations
and recommendations of other goat owners. Contact a regional or national
goat organization to find a breeder in your area. Consideration: Decide
if you want a buck, at least initially. Bucks can complicate your plans
as they should be kept separately from the does for most of the year.
Where to get information on raising goats
There are many good and helpful books on the market, some more technical than others. One of your first books should be Angora Goats the Northern Way, by Susan Black-Drummond. The fourth (and final) edition, published in 1993 has chapters on cashmere goats.
Caprine Supply has good, recent, very basic book, covering numerous goat breeds. It is entitled Goatkeeping 101. These two books have good basics and are easy to read and understand. Goatkeeping 101 covers most breeds of goats, including dairy breeds, while Angora Goats the Northern Way focuses on Angora and cashmere goats.
by Mary C. Smith, DVM and David M. Sherman is another good reference. It
is thorough and much more technical than the beginning books and can scare
you off if you get it before you purchase your goats. However, it is very
useful, especially when a problem occurs. Other useful books we have found
include Goat Husbandry by David Mackenzie, Raising Milk Goats the Modern
Way by Jerry Belanger and The Pack Goat by John Mionczynski. Additional
references are contained in a list later down this page.
Another useful resource that is often overlooked is your county extension agent. Check with your county Ag Department and local college or university. Many extension services offer classes which are helpful. A course on midwifing for sheep can readily be applied to goats and usually offers hands-on experience.
One of the best resources is membership in a goat group. Goat people are eager to share their knowledge and experiences. Remember that on many subjects, (fencing, feed and exactly what is the ideal cashmere goat) there can be as many opinions as people! Organizations available include: Cashmere Goat Association (formerly Eastern Cashmere Association), Northwest Cashmere Association and Canadian Cashmere Producers Association.
There may also be a generic goat group in your local area which could be helpful. Most organization provide annual, or more frequent get-togethers, a periodic newsletter and educational events.
is a vast storehouse of knowledge that is being updated constantly. Be careful
of Internet sites - some are kept more current and more authoritative than
As with most things, you can spend as much or as little as you want. Not many feed stores carry supplies intended for goats specifically. You either make do with implements designed for sheep or cattle, or you can go to specialty catalogs like Caprine Supply. Common items like hoof trimmers, syringes and fencing materials are usually readily available locally, as are many medicines. These can be obtained from farm stores, feed stores or from veterinarians. Catalogs can be obtained by mail, phone or e-mail. A list of useful catalogs is included later on this page. Check to see if you have a farm supply co-op in your area. Many farm stores are co-ops, so check. You can get year-end rebates or dividends on all that expensive fencing!
Feed and forage
Decide what and how you will feed your livestock before buying the critters. Check prices, determine how much and for how long (4 months, 1/2 year, all year) you must feed. Determine if supplies are available at all the times you will need them or if you will have to purchase ahead and store. Decisions will include supplementary forage, grass hay vs. alfalfa hay, straw for bedding, minerals needed in your area (check with your vet!), types of grain available year around. Talk to farm stores and livestock owners in your area. Be aware that goats have some different needs than sheep, cattle or horses and that cashmere goats have different needs than dairy goats. Bulk feed is cheaper. The more grain or hay you buy at once, the lower the price. You will want to use your negotiating skills.
Don't forget a source of clean, year-round water. Will your water source freeze in the winter? Will it run dry in the summer? Can you keep it clean?
Get to know a veterinarian
Choosing and involving a vet early can make life easier when (not if) an emergency occurs. Even if you currently have a good veterinarian for Fido, Fluffy and Tweety, this does not mean you automatically have a good veterinarian for your cashmere herd. You don't need to necessarily find a vet who has hundreds of cashmere goat patients on the client roster, but you do need a vet who is good with small ruminants. Get your vet out to your place as soon as you can so he/she will have a perspective of your operation. Your local veterinarian will be your main source of valuable information. In addition to knowing the history of your herd, he/she will know what diseases and minerals deficiencies/excesses are prevalent in your locale.
Now that you have fleeces and goats to sell, what do you do? You will need to find markets for your products. The Cashmere America Cooperative is not longer in existence, but there are a few growers who will buy your fleeces. If you sell your raw fleeces wholesale, you will get much less for them than if you have them processed and sell products retail. Fleeces and cashmere can also be sold direct to craftspeople locally, although this market can be challenging.
Breeding stock and excess animals can be sold by advertising in local newspapers, regional farm papers, magazines and the internet. Breeding stock can also be sold by showing/displaying your animals at local fairs and fiber events. Sales made directly to individual buyers will usually yield the best prices for your animals. Livestock auctions will sell animals as well, but prices are not predictable. Generally, animals sold at auction will bring less than animals sold by advertising.
People know! When in doubt, ask! Ask other goat folk, your vet, or extension
agent. Answers to your questions may be just a telephone call (or an email)
3300 W. 83rd St., PO Box Y
DeSoto, Kansas 66018
toll free: 1-800-646-7736
Hoegger Supply Co.
160 Providence Road
Fayetteville, Georgia 30215
2031 300th Street
Washington Iowa 52353
319-653-7622 or 1-800-282-6631
Valley Vet Supply
East Hwy. 36, PO Box 504 Marysville, Kansas 66508-0504
Angora Goats the Northern Way
Fourth Edition (1993), Susan Black Drummond, 239 pages, published by Stony Lonesome Farm, Freeport, MI 49325, has chapters on cashmere goats. A good reference and starting book for cashmere goat owners.
Breeding Cashmere Goats
1991, B. J. Restall and W. A. Pattie, 95 pages. A collection of articles presented to meetings of goat breeders, results of research in Australia by two researchers who spent many years researching cashmere goat genetics. This book is pretty technical and old, but about the only thing out there on cashmere genetics.
Cashmere - Complete Guide from Fibre to Fashion
1998 or so, Sue Meeche, 54 pages - 20 of these pages are knitting, weaving and crochet patterns for cashmere. A good short history and beginner's introduction to cashmere goats and cashmere fiber, from Canadian author/publisher.
Cashmere Goat Notes
Revised Edition (1990), A collection of short articles by various authors edited by R. James Browne, B. Agr. Sc., DDA (Hons.), 282 pages, published by the Australian Cashmere Growers Association, 30 Cann Street, Guildford 2161. The Australian Cashmere Goat Association did have it all online, but their site isn't working at present.
Fifth Edition (1993), David Mackenzie with revisions by Ruth Goodwin, 334 pages, published by Faber and Faber. British writer with a slightly different perspective on goatkeeping.
1994, Mary C. Smith, DVM and David M. Sherman, DVM, MS, 620 pages published by Lea & Febiger. This is a good one for medical stuff. It's big, technical (but not as technical as Merck), expensive and well worth the cost. It's got it all - a lot more than you'll generally need to know, but fascinating stuff!
1998, Caprine Supply, 248 pages. A good beginners basic book. Covers all breeds with just a brief summary of cashmere. A good place to start if you've never owned a goat.
1994, by Sara Emond, Animal Industry Division, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, 74 pages. Excellent reference on meat goats including facilities, nutrition, reproduction and marketing. Available from Alberta Goat Breeders Association.
Merck Veterinary Manual
Seventh Edition (1991) There is no doubt a later edition out than the one on our shelf, published by Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, 1832 pages. It's big, expensive and designed for a veterinarian's use. Unless you know a lot about veterinary medicine or just like to stay confused, this book is probably not for you.
Pack Goat, The
1992, John Mionczynski, 147 pages, published by Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado. Even though this book is about pack goats, we find the book useful for a common sense approach in managing and understanding goats.
Raising Milk Goats the Modern Way
1975, Jerry Belanger, 152 pages, published by Garden Way Publishing co., Charlotte, Vermont. It's old and it's about milk goats, but it is a good beginner's book on goat management.
1979, Billie Luisi, 208 pages, published by Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania. A good beginners book plus a bit more. Only covers dairy goats.
There are many more books about goats out there, but these are the ones on our shelf. If you're looking for these, if you find an updated version of them, you will, of course, want the updated one.
And of course, there's always the internet and those social media sites for information...
References last updated July 31, 2017