Preparing for a show
To do well with your angora goat at a show, it must be conditioned to look it’s best. Time spent handling your animals at home will help them to relax with you at the show.
It will take 4-6 months to grow an ideal show fleece. Since half of the points in an angora goat show are for mohair, you want the fleece to look it’s best. All of these tips allow you to produce better fleeces in general.
A show fleece is a healthy fleece in usable condition and begins at shearing time. The skin must be in good health – free of dandruff and lice – in order for the outside of the fleece to look nice. Do a good job shearing to avoid lumps and clumps in the new fleece.
If the skin is not in good health, the first fleece may grow out with dead tips, or matt or contain remnants of dandruff. Give the coat a good brushing, take care of the health problem and shear the goat again when the fleece is growing in nicely.
Good nutrition is essential. Plan for time to put each of your goats on a stand monthly and check them over carefully. Practice assessing body condition scores and keep your goats about a three. Size, weight and constitution contribute a considerable number of points to the show scorecard.
The fleece needs to grow in a healthy condition, without lice, from shearing to show. Lice bite and cause the goat to scratch, which breaks and mats the fleece. The mohair loses luster and the fleece deteriorates as eggs accumulate. Goats should be treated whenever goats are scratching or have blackened horn tips. Check monthly.
Control of internal parasites is also important. Coccidia are a stealthy problem in kids. If the kids are “just small” and your nutrition program is good to excellent, suspect coccidia. Deworm your goats a few weeks before the show to help reduce digestive upset at the show. Check the insides of eyelids and gums for a nice deep pink color.
Do your best to keep fleeces clean with good feeders. Several weeks prior to the show trim feet and urine stained mohair, clean ears and check tags/tattoos, wash horns and noses. Pick the bulk of the vegetation from your goat’s fleeces and check that the fleece and skin and goat are in good condition.
When you handle your goats, get them to relax and stand comfortably with you before you let them go. A few deep breaths on your part will usually help a goat calm down and stand in a relaxed fashion. This will help tremendously in the show ring. Practice holding your goats with a relaxed touch.
Like all endeavors, to excel requires spending some time focusing on your goal. Timing of breeding and timing of shearing can help your odds at a show. A fleece needs 3-6 inches of growth to show off style and character. Kids born in February tend to be more competitive, especially in spring and early summer shows.
Angora goats, both white and colored have improved greatly in fleece fineness and quality over the last fifteen years. Classes at some shows are filled with gorgeous goats and the competition is intense to the bottom of the class. A good judge will provide you with reasons for placements and improve your knowledge of angora goats and it is nice to have someone else assess your goats. Have pride in your farm and the animals you produce and do not expect to agree with every judge’s assessment. Be a good sport.
Tidy your goat before entering the ring
Know your goats age and when or if she kidded
If you are showing for someone, know their farm name and goat id
Keep your eye on the judge, but pay attention to your goat too
Be prepared for your goat to jump when the judge approaches
Go around your goat, not over it
Be relaxed and have your goat stand naturally and proudly
Thank the judge at the end of the show