Garrett Ranch

Washington

Featured Breeder Article

The following  “Breeder Profile” was published in the February/March 2002 issue of The Goat Magazine and is reproduced here with the publisher’s consent. We extend a special thank you to Roylyn Coufal, Editor/Publisher of The Goat Magazine for her support of the goat breeding community.

WHAT WOULD OUR DAY BE LIKE WITHOUT PYGORA GOATS? By Linda Garrett

Let me start at the beginning. For 30 years my husband, Dave, and I had raised and shown champion Appaloosa horses all over the United States and Canada. After the 1998 death of our internationally know stallion, Double Bid, we needed a new animal to help fill the void in our hearts. We had owned Bid for over 25 years and he was a major part of our family. Dave was nearing retirement and we had decided to raise smaller animals. Our days of braking horses were behind us. I have always loved goats and as a child would go to the zoo and look for the goats to feed. At the Garrett Ranch we had raised pygmy goats off and on for many years. Now I really wanted something different.

Every year we visited all of the fairs within 100 miles. Again it was to the goat Merlin, Supreme Champion Buckbarns to talk to my cute little friends. One year we noticed some little fellows with a lot of curls. “What are these goats we asked?” We were told that they are a breed called Pygora, which is a cross between a registered Angora goat (AAGBA) and a registered Pygmy goat (NPGA). To us, in full fleece they resemble a marshmallow with legs and with helicopter like ears and a mischievous personality. When you look into the eyes of a Pygora goat they seem to say, “please love me”.

It seemed that these fluffy little guys had seriously caught our attention so for six months we visited Pygora breeders in our region. We wanted to learn everything about these fiber-producing goats. Our number one question was, “are they hardy goats?“ The answer was always, “yes.” Then we would ask, “Which fiber type is the best” and  “What colors are the most marketable”? Each breeder would give us a different answer. It soon became clear to us that the answer was that it’s your own personal preference. During this time we kept hearing terms like creamy handle, cool to the touch, warm, microns, etc. The problem was Garrett Ranch Wethers, P. Mulligan and Paddingtonthat I was not a spinner so these terms and others really meant nothing to me. It became apparent to us that we needed to do some reading.

Reading material on the Pygora was limited so we had to resort to books about other fiber producing goats and hand spinning. I did not understand the difference between fleece types until a friend who just happened to be a spinner said “just close your eyes and reach into a box of fiber and what do you feel?” At that time I could finally feel the difference. It was not long before we made the decision to purchase our first Pygora does. With our background in breeding champion halter horses it was easy to pick out the best confirmation goats with the fleece that we liked to touch.

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