The preparation of the mohair clip for sale is the culmination of the year’s work. The fibre shorn reflects the “total environment” experienced throughout the growing period.
The total environment includes the physical environment and the husbandry practices of the Studmaster. As shearing approaches every effort should be made to protect the long mohair from the possibility of contamination from vegetable matter, dust and pigmented fibers. Such contamination will depreciate the value of the mohair. It is advisable to keep the goals in clear, well grassed, open paddocks to avoid contamination from dust and vegetable matter. Avoid crowding or yarding the mohair producing goats with coloured grade animals. The pigmented fibre form such animals often contaminates otherwise clean mohair.
Some animals particularly crossbreds, shed hair in the spring. I tis good management to shear before this occurs. As the fleece sheds it also matts and these fleeces must be kept
separate to prevent the discounted buyers price affecting other fleeces. Fineness of fiber to a large extent is determined by the age of the animals, and therefore it is advisable to draft the heard into age groups, e.g. kids -2-4 tooths and mature aged goats, prior to shearing. The various age groups should then be shorn separately.
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The sharing shed is probably one of the most important buildings on the fibre farmer’s property, as it is here that the result of the year’s labour is harvested and prepared for sale.
In many instances it is only use for short periods each year and therefore does not always have the consideration it deserves. The high standards demanded by both shearer and
classer warrants the best possible working conditions.
The shed must have good lighting. Poor natural light may be improved by the addition of well placed skylights and windows, or by the use of artificial light. The shed should be well ventilated. The shed should be designed to allow an uninterrupted flow of Angoras to the shearing board and from the board to the counting-out pens. At the same time the Mohair must flow forward to the skirting table and then to the Mohair classer and into the bins. The shed must be thoroughly equipped with the skirting table and then to the Mohair classer and into the bins.
The shed must be equipped with skirting table, bins and press. A table suitable for handling Mohair is one with a 2-3cm mesh with allows second cuts and short fibre to fall through. Adjacent to the shed should be a rack for drying damp, stained fibre.
The shearing board should be kept free from locks and must be swept after each animal is shorn.
Bellies should be picked up from the shearing board, and after removing stained fibre (if applicable) placed in a suitable line.
The following procedure should be adopted as routine:
- Remove all stained pieces – keep separate
- Examine the fleece for kemp, remove kemp and keep separate
- Remove mohair containing heave grass seeds or burr
- Make an appraisal of the fleece and remove any areas significantly different to the bulk, e.g. course hairy britches or strong neck hair
In most cases Mohair produced on clean pastures will require only careful light skirting.