Cashmere the fiber of kings, produced from the lowly Cashmere goat. This fiber is so luxurious that the Arc of the Covenant of the old testament was lined and curtained with it. Sixty percent of the world's supply of Cashmere is produced in China and the remainder from Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kashmere, Australia and New Zealand. It is a completely new industry for the United States and the first Cashmere goats were imported from Australia and New Zealand about 1990. Since then several Cashmere breeders and Growers have been producing breeding stock to launch this new industry in the US. The price of Cashmere fluctuates in a range of $120 to $190 per pound, and is currently selling for $190+. The demand is excellent and with the Chinese stocks at the lowest they have ever been looks to be stable at these prices.
Cashmere goats are easy to raise. They are healthy animals and take only minimal care. They are not jumpers like many other breeds and standard woven wire sheep fencing will contain them nicely. Minimal shelter is all that is required to house them as they have their own Cashmere coat for cold weather, and shed it for the summer so they can stay cool in high heat.
They love weeds and will eradicate Leafy Spurge, Poison Ivy- Oak, Bind weed, Canadian Thistle, and many other Noxious varieties.
They are sheared once a year and a full grown adult Billy will yield as much as 2&1/2 pounds of fleece. The fleece consists of two kinds of fiber, Cashmere which accounts for up to 60% and guard hair the rest. Average Cashmere percentages are in the 40% range. The fleece can then be sold to wholesale buyers or you can have it dehaired at a cost of $14 per pound and sell it retail to hand spinners for $12 per ounce.
These pages were designed by the Computer Science project of the Irvine Mesa Charros 4-H Club, using information provided by John Harris