G O A T S F O R W O O L?
When most people think about wool, they immediately think about sheep. Sheep provide very fluffy and soft wool regardless of the breed. However, when we were deciding which animals we wanted on the farm, we wanted to try our hand at goats! Although they aren't your first thought when it comes to wool and yarn, Pygora goats create gorgeous coats that are fun to work with and turn into beautiful skeins. Pygora wool is comparable to cashmere, and will never get fine or coarse while the goats age. It always stays lovely and soft!
H O W W E C A R E F O R T H E H E R D
Our family has worked hard over the past few years to create multiple pastures across The Lovely Ambition property. Rotating the goats and cattle allows for the animals to get fresh greens consistently and for our pastures to be self-sustainable in regenerating the plants that were eaten. Our natural approach for feeding brings rich nutrients to our goat's diet, and keeps them producing soft locks for us to shear.
S H E A R I N G
The benefits of shearing goes both ways:
1. We get wool to turn into yarn and other products
2. The goats get a haircut to help cool them off in the heavy Arkansas heat and humidity
Shearing time is a bitter-sweet time for the Hatch clan. Bitter because of the hot and hard work it is to wrangle goats. Sweet because of the creative and fun products we get to make with the wool! Everyone takes part in the 'festivities' that come with giving our goats a haircut!
The boys help to separate the goats from the rest of the herds, and get them into the barn. Once they're all in the barn, the girls start shearing. We have two teams of two and one recorder/ear-piercer. Each team picks one goat from the lot and escorts it onto a shearing stand. These stands help keep both shearers and goats safe throughout the process. Before shearing, the recorder writes down the name of the goat and collects a sample of their wool for grading. Grading lets us know the quality of wool each goat produces. Then the shearers get to work collecting all the fluffy wool! Once the haircut is over, the new goats get a special tag placed into their ear to help us keep track of their heritage for breeding. Last we feed the goats some sweet molasses treats and release them into a nice green pasture. Depending on how hot it is outside and how many goats we have to shear, this process can take up to 3 days to complete! It is some of the hardest, but most rewarding work we do.