Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Wild Mohairians

Time to get the hair off the Wild Mohairians.  Mohair grows faster than sheep wool and is harvested twice a year, in spring and fall.   It's not as easy as you think.  I have a shearing stand - rusting in a pile in the back of the barn.  Most farms have the pile in the back of the barn they are going to get to when everything else is done.  That opportunity rarely arises.  I always had to have another body standing next to the stand to keep the animal from jumping off, even with the head secured by the stand.  Somewhere along the way I started clipping my goats with someone sitting on a stool, holding the horns.  I use my sewing scissors - bad girl - to clip the luxurious mohair off the goats.  With the cold weather coming in, and goats being desert animals, I leave an inch of hair on them to keep them warm.  I trim hooves and worm the goaties when I clip them.   I love mohair. It adds a lovely slip to roving and is much stronger than wool.  Socks knitted with

 mohair in the yarn won't wear out at the heels.  Commercial sock companies add nylon to their socks for that purpose but I don't have to as I have mohair.  Goats are fun to raise.   They have lots of personality, unlike the sheep who are largely calm, pastoral creatures.  My goats know how to open the door to the Milk Room and raid the feed sacks.  They know how to body block me and make me spill a bucket or scoop of  rabbit food on my way to the hanging cages.  Goat horns can stab you in places you'd never imagine, not out of maliciousness, just their up-close nature.   They are fantastic mothers for the most part, although I have had a couple of weirdos, including my Monkey, who would always favor one twin over another.  Her mother, Celeste, did the same thing.  A year ago last May I had 11 buck kids and only 2 does.   I kept the bucks and wethered them (a simple band around the sack at two days old does the job painlessly) and now they are giving me some lovely mohair.  With all the preparations for Rhinebeck goat clipping was pushed to the back burner and now it's cold.  Clipping them with scissors allows me to keep an inch on them for warmth.  My barn keeps them dry and out of the wind.  I have a couple of dozen more goats to go, and spouse can't sit still on a stool for more than one goat at a time, so I am in a bit of a bind.  I heard a rumor that Hannah and Luke might come to help me next weekend.  I heard the same rumor about the Parkinsons.  Wouldn't that be nice?   

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