Come learn how cashmere farms take care of cashmere animals. In this article we will go over what type of animals make cashmere, feeding and nutritional needs, housing and fencing, health issues and care, grooming, and lastly how to harvest cashmere. If you’re are interested in learning about where your cashmere sweaters come from then keep reading!
What Type of Animals Make Cashmere?
Cashmere is made from cashmere goats with soft undercoats. These types of goats are often found in Mongolia and China. Goats are the best animals for cashmere products because their bodies have little fat and they have coats to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
Feeding and Nutritional Needs
Maintenance of cashmere animals is cost-friendly. You only need to know basic care requirements. For instance, goats are browsers and their performance is best on rotational grazing systems. Their performance also increases on an intensive grazing system. It would also be best if you feed your cashmere animals with fresh forage, minerals, fresh-clean water, and quality hay. In the case where a cashmere animal is pregnant, cashmere farms feed them with grains as a way to maintain their body condition.
Housing and Fencing
A draft-free shelter is the most recommended type of housing for your cashmere animal. Often, cashmere farms use this type of shelter to protect their animals from predators and bad weather. To protect cashmere animals from hungry predators, cashmere farms enclose their animals in cattle panels or a there stand electric wire. This is also integral in protecting the farmer from neighbors with ill motives.
Health Issues and Care
Cashmere animals are often affected by parasites serving as a major threat. Internal parasites, for instance, lower the animals’ immune system, while external parasites destroy the animal’s fiber. Examples of external parasites include lice and ticks. The most recommended way to control these parasites is through rotational grazing and regular deworming of your animals.
Research shows that down fiber starts growing about the year’s longest day and halts during the shortest days. The fiber should be combed regularly to avoid shedding during the spring or when the weather conditions are extremely hot. Shearing and shaving are the most appropriate methods of harvesting fiber. December and March are the best months to harvest fiber from cashmere goats. Also, you need to trim hooves after every 4-6 weeks.
How to Harvest Cashmere
Cashmere is one of the world’s rare natural fibers. Several people mistake cashmere for wool but the fact is that it is hair. It offers a remarkable and comfortable feeling. Goats from the Gobi Deserts are the main source of cashmere. The goats’ undercoat features course hair. Similarly, on the goat’s underbelly are superfine fibers that are very concentrated. Often, cashmere from these goats is harvested in May and June. The harvesting procedure is quite simple. First, you need to have local workers who will comb the belly hair once the goats begin to molt, using their hands, they comb the belly hair and sort it before they take the hair to a dehairing place for cleaning and refining.
The workers will then store the cashmere in bales and take it to the respective places in Europe to spin into fine yarn before being sold to fashion designers. China and Afghanistan are among the top-notch exporters for cashmere. Goat farmers are doing their level best to ensure the quality and volume of cashmere produced are high. Remember, the quality of knits is directly proportional to the quality of the cashmere product.
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