If you’re looking for an animal offering beautiful fibers and the perfect level-headed personality to be safe around small children, look no further than the Pygora goat.
With beautiful curls, fun personalities, and some versatility in farming applications, these animals make excellent additions to almost any farm.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the charismatic Pygora goat– from their origins, physical characteristics, care, and temperament.
History of The Breed
This is what gives them their excellent fiber hair and smaller statures.
The first known crossbreeding happened in Oregon City, Oregon, in the 1980s, by Katharine Jorgensen.
The Pygoras Breeders Association was founded in 1987.
Pygora goats must be no more than 75% NPGA Pygmy or 75% white AAGBA Angora, per today’s breed standards.
Pygora Goat Facts
- Pygora goats come in several colors, making their fleece colorful, unique, and naturally fun for fiber artists. The main colors of this breed are brown, black, grey, red, white, or some combination of these colors.
- Pygora goats produce three kinds of fleece. These distinct fleece types are cashmere-like fleece (Type C), mohair-like fleece (Type-A), or a combination of cashmere-like and mohair-like fleece (Type B).
- Type A fleece from a Pygora is typically six inches or longer and draped in beautiful ringlets. You collect this type of fleece by shearing the animal. For this type, you will get as much as three pounds of raw fleece per shearing.
- Type B fleece from Pygora goats is about three to six inches long, with one or two guard hairs. Type B fleece is also harvested from shearing the Pygora. You should get around one pound of this type of fleece per shearing.
- Type C fleece is one to three inches long and very fine. You harvest this fleece type by brushing through and out the sheared fibers. Type C fleece is the smallest type in quantity; you may only get eight ounces per shear.
- Raw Pygora cashmere fiber sells for as much as $20.25 an ounce; or $36 for two ounces of 3-ply yarn.
- When you spin this fiber into yarn, it is soft, fluffy, and warm. It’s perfect for hats and mittens. Spun worsted Type A fleece is really silky with a lustrous sheen. Type C can be spun into soft, fine, delicate, and beautiful lacey yarn. You really have a lot of options in your fiber here.
- Even though Pygoras are not typically considered meat goats. Still, they are good meat producers thanks to their Pygmy goat background. Their sweet nature makes it relatively easy for owners to milk them too. They are pretty forgiving and patient about whatever you want to do.
- Female Pygora goats weigh 80 to 120 pounds while standing at least 18 inches tall. Male Pygora goats weigh 75 to 140 pounds while standing at least 23 inches tall.
Pygora goats truly got the best of both breeds, especially regarding personality.
These sweet and docile goats are as playful and goofy as Pygmy goats but with the patient and motherly nature of Angora goats.
It’s great that Pygoras are used for their fibers and not as meat because they are very easy to get attached to.
Homesteaders with smaller children will fall in love with this breed because they will treat your kids just as well as their own.
Plus, they can grow up with your babies; most life to be twelve to fifteen years old.
Even if you are not interested in using or selling fiber, Pygoras are such sweethearts that they make some of the best farm-style pets you can raise.
They are very much “in your pocket” and genuinely enjoy the company of their human friends.
Pygora Goat Advantages
Pygoras are prolific breeders, giving birth to one to four kids per birth– two kids is the most common, though.
They adapt well to nearly all climates, so they should do well no matter where you live.
Since Pygoras are so small and gentle, they are beginner-friendly and not intimidating.
They live a long time, too, so you can fall in love and get attached to their great personalities.
If you shear you does twice a year, you can make $400 to $1,920 per goat annually– assuming you sell the raw fiber for $20 (the average price on Etsy in 2023).
Selling one kid per year nets another $500. This is an excellent way for your goats to cover their own feed bills, plus a little extra.
Pygora Goat Disadvantages
Pygora goats are small, so you won’t be able to harvest as much fiber from this breed as you can from other larger breeds.
You must harvest their hair at least once a year, preferably twice a year.
While most producers consider this a pro instead of a con, you may not enjoy this if you are only keeping this breed as a pet.
Other than this, it is difficult to fault these sweet little goats who grow fantastic fibers and offer good quality meat and milk if you desire.
When To Shear Your Goat
It is best practice to shear your Pygora goats once, preferably twice a year.
Failure to do so will cause the goats to have matting and tangles.
Most producers shear their goats in mid to late spring and early fall.
These seasonal shearing windows allow the goats to reacclimate to the weather right before summer and winter are in full swing.
Pygora Goat Reproduction
Both parents of Pygora goats have to be registered Pygoras (PBA).
If you are raising first-generation goats, both parents must be registered with the National Pygmy Goat Association (NPGA) and the American Angora goat Breeders Association (AAGBA).
You can choose either breed for either parent.
Still, it is usually best practice to use Pygmy bucks with Angora to prevent injury and difficult pregnancies.
First-generation Pygoras are called “F1” s and are not considered true Pygoras.
Pygora goats give birth to one to four kids per kidding, though most have two at a time.
The kids will weigh about five pounds at birth.
Pygora bucks smell worse (or stronger) than Angora bucks but slightly better than Pygmy bucks.
When the breeding season ends, their stench disappears almost immediately.
Breeding season is in the spring and fall of your area, whenever that happens to fall.
Most do have a cycle of 18 to 23 days long.
The Pygora gestation period lasts for 145 to 153 days– about five months.
If you want to milk your Pygora goat, you can expect around a quart of milk per doe per day.
How Much Do Pygora Goats Cost?
Most guides from 2020 say that Pygoras cost about $300 each.
However, I find that now in 2023, most bucks and does now cost closer to $500, with only wethers staying near that $300 mark.