A short history of the Pygora

The Pygora is a fleece producing goat. Pygoras were first bred in Oregon by Katharine Jorgensen in 1980. She was inspired by the color, curly goats she saw on the Navajo Indian reservation. She purchased a registered Angora doe with the intention of breeding her to a registered Pygmy buck. While this may not have been the first Pygora created, it was probably the first Pygora ever purposefully bred with the hope of creating colored mohair. Instead of colored mohair, her first goats were white and very fluffy. Some of the fluff tested true cashmere. In these first goats, color appeared in the second and third generation. The animals were very consistent in body type. As more animals were bred, it was noted that the fiber ranged from long and lustrous mohair, to short extremely fine cashmere. Three types of Pygoras were soon classified according to their fleece types.

Fleece types

Type A or Angora Type is up to 6 inches long, lustrous, should hang in long curly locks, and be free of guard hair. These goats usually need to be shorn 2 times a year.

Type B or Blend Type fiber is curly and may be lustrous or have a matte finish. It is between 3-6 inches long and there are fine guard hairs. These goats may be shorn, plucked, or combed.

Type C or Cashmere Type fiber is 1 to 3 inches in length, is 14 to 19 microns in diameter, has a matt finish, very little curl, and the guard hairs are coarse and distinct. These goats can be shorn, plucked or combed.

Color

Pygoras come in all accepted colors of the Pygmy goat, dilutions of those, and white. Most Pygoras have seasonal colors, their fleece being a lighter color than their guard hair. A black goat in summer may change to a grey goat in winter.

For more detailed information about the Pygora goat, see the Pygora Breeders Association web site.

Reprinted with permission of Chris Utterback

Advertisements