The quality of Angora goats can be described in three areas: Size, Conformation and Fleece Quality. Clearly, fleece quality is of foremost importance but Size and Conformation are important because they relate to survival, reproduction and quantity of fleece produced.
SIZE: Large framed animals are significantly more fertile, robust and have a greater capacity to survive under adverse conditions. While small animals may produce finer fiber and have greater levels of coverage, size should be considered of major importance.
CONFORMATION: This refers to the physical structure and shape of the animal and can be discussed under headings of Head, Forequarter, Barrel and Hind Quarter.
THE HEAD & NECK: The head should be strong and neatly formed with the profile straight to slightly convex. The jaw should fit well, not being under or overshot. The ears should be of medium length and pendulous. The horns of the buck must be spaced apart, bending backwards and down, and spreading away from the neck. The horns of the doe should be lighter, well spaced and curved gently downwards and away from the line of the neck. The head should be covered to a degree with good quality mohair. Ideally there should be a channel running from the mouth to the eye which is open and free of mohair. The face and ears should be covered with fine soft downy fiber . Major/Disqualifying Faults: Excessively overshot or undershot jaw, more than ¼” Straight harsh hair on the neck pole Horns with less than 1" spacing. Coarse kempy hair on the face and ears Goats that were born with or have wattles.
Lesser Faults: Weak, narrow and angular head Teeth failing to meet the dental pad squarely Curled or poorly shaped horns, especially if close to the neck which would Interfere with shearing Straight horns Horns with less than 1.5 inch spacing
THE FOREQUARTER AND LEGS: The neck should be of medium depth, broad and fit neatly into the shoulders. The chest should be broad and deep. The withers should be broad and firm. The foreleg should be strong and straight with good bone. The upper leg should be well muscled. The pasterns should be firm, upright and well formed.
Major/Disqualifying Faults: Weak pasterns that allow the dewclaw to touch the ground One or both hooves turned in or out more than 45 degrees.
Lesser Faults: Narrow chest Hollow behind the shoulders Loose shoulder blades Crooked legs Excessively fine bone Weak pasterns Toes that are splayed but 45 degrees or less from each other
THE BARREL: The barrel should be long with the back strong and relatively level. The loins should be broad and strong. The barrel should be large and deep with the ribs well sprung.
Lesser Faults: Short back Back excessively reached or hollow/swayed Lack of depth of body Narrow and slab sided body Hind Quarters and Legs: The rump should be broad and reasonably level. There should be good space between the pin bones. The thighs should be well fleshed. The hind legs should be strong and the animal square standing. The pasterns should be firm and the hooves well formed. The tail should be straight, well formed and covered with good quality mohair. The sexual organs should be complete and well formed. The doe should have two functional teats. Supernumerary teats should not be of a size or shape as to interfere with suckling. The buck must have two testes of approximately equal size.
Major/Disqualifying Faults: Missing testicles (cryptorchidism) Juvenile testes in mature bucks Abnormal genitalia on does Weak pasterns that allow the dewclaw to touch the ground One or both hooves turned in or out more than 45 degrees.
Lesser Faults: Excessively sloped or roached croup/rump Narrow hindquarters Cow hocks Sickle hocks Weak pasterns Crooked/skewed tail or tail covered with coarse hair Scrotum split the length of which is more than one half of the total diameter or 3” maximum Uneven sized or small testes Toes that are splayed but 45 degrees or less from each other
FLEECE: General: The Angora goat should be covered from head to tail and down the legs to at least the knees, with dense, attractive, lustrous, kemp free mohair of even length and quality. It should display a balance of character and style with a good solid staple having a soft handle with maximum length for the growth period. The mohair should grow at a minimum rate of one inch per month.
Disqualifying Faults: More than one grade change in the fleece Thin fleece density Kemp or medullated fiber throughout the fleece. More than 1% kemp and/or medullated fiber.
Lesser Faults: Kemp and medullated fiber in the fleece or on the backline not to exceed 1% Dull and harsh handling fiber Short length for the period of growth. Normal growth is one inch per month. Straight and/or poorly formed locks Poor density Excessive grease Marked variation in fineness or length over the body but no more than one grade change
Coverage: There is little doubt that coverage and quality are related but care is recommended in assuming that coverage on the head and legs is indicative of overall animal quality.
Quality: Good quality mohair is free from medullated fiber, and is even in length and fineness over the entire body. Quality mohair has a balance of character (crimp) and style (twist) and has a balance of density and fleece length, giving good fleece weight. The mohair is bright and lustrous and is uniform as possible over the entire body. Ideally the mohair should fall in ringlets with a reversal in twist along the length to prevent the appearance of "ropeness". The mohair is neither excessively greasy nor dry and harsh, and has a luxurious handle.
Quality should be considered in its components: Fineness: Uniform fineness of the fleece is extremely important and should be considered with fleece weight. Excessive coarseness or strength in the neck is very undesirable. Style and Character: Style and character give structure to the staple. Style refers to the twist and character, the crimp. The ideal is a well defined staple, not too broad, of uniform type over the entire body and with a balance of style and character giving the distinctive ringlet formation of mohair. Excessive twist without a "twist reversal" and excessive character leading to flat locks are undesirable. Length: Evenness of length throughout the body is of extreme importance. Faults to be guarded against include short fiber on the hind legs or back, and/or unevenness of length on the body. The ideal is a minimum growth of 6 inches in six months. Density: Density of mohair, combined with length determines the weight of the mohair clip. The most desirable is a dense, uniform fleece with good length and character without excessive coarseness grown on an animal with acceptable size.