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ACGA Australian Cashmere Breed and Fleece Standard

The Australian Cashmere Goat

The breed has evolved from the Australian Bush Goat after many generations of selective breeding. The object of the breed is to provide a dual-purpose animal that will optimize returns from both cashmere and meat. The Australian Cashmere must retain the hardiness and fertility of its origins.

General Appearance:

The ideal Cashmere will be well grown for its age, in good body condition, healthy, alert and display sound fertility attributes and conformation. It must have good overall coverage of cashmere. The fleece should have good length, density, evenness and handle; colour is not important. A fine white fleece usually commands the highest price.

Temperament:

A good temperament and tractability is required.

Head:

The head should be in proportion to the neck and body size.
Teeth should be set well in the jaw and meet the dental pad squarely.
Eyes should be clear and alert.
Ears may be erect, semi erect or pendulous.
Bucks should display a stronger masculine head. Does to be finer boned and more feminine.

Neck:

The neck should be long, strong, straight and spreading well to join the chest and shoulders.

Chest and Shoulders:

The chest to be broad and deep, with the shoulders wide and well fleshed.

Body and Back:

The body should be deep with well-sprung ribs and the back straight from the shoulder to rump.

Forelegs:

Forelegs to be strong and straight, pasterns firm sound and hooves correctly formed.
Observed from the front the forelegs should be straight and widely set at the knee to allow for the width of the chest.

Hindquarters:

Pelvis long and not too sloping, and should be broad when viewed from the rear. Thighs should be thick from side to side and wide from front to back.
The hock should be strong and well sprung when viewed from the side.
When viewed from behind the hock and shank should be straight.
Pasterns are to be firm sound and the hooves well formed.

Polled Goats:

Should not be encouraged.

Buck:

Should have a well-developed scrotum with two two firm even sized testes.

Doe:

The udder must be well developed with two even sized teats.
The vulva should not show signs of hermaphroditism. i.e. small penis at vulva base.

The Australian Cashmere Fleece

Cashmere may be either white or coloured. Guard hair can be long or short; there must be good differentiation between the guard hair and the cashmere (down). The mean fibre diameter (mfd) to be under 18.5 micron for adult animals, kids should be finer. Australian Cashmere usually has a lazy crimped style. The cashmere fleece may have a slight sheen referred to as "life"; this is a sign of growing fleece on a healthy animal and is quite distinct from the lustre of Cashgora and Mohair. When the cashmere stops growing and shedding commences, the fleece takes on a dull matte appearance.

An Australian Cashmere Judge will take a lock of cashmere from the neck, midside and rump and place them on a classing board. In this class of 10 animals the unstretched length of the locks from all exhibited cashmeres in the class is greater than 80mm.

Cover:

The ideal cashmere should have full body coverage.

Down Length:

Staple length is an important factor, contributing to TDW (Total Down Weight); it must be a strong consideration for superior selection.
Minimum length for cashmere shearing is 45mm, to give a shorn absolute minimum fibre length of 35mm.

Density:

A dense fleece will exhibit compactness and feel thicker, ("wool like"). Density also contributes to TDW.
Density, combined with good staple length, is a highly desirable characteristic.

Fineness:

There are three grades:Premium fibre below 16 um, 16 to 16.6 um and 16.7 to 18.5 um.

Evenness:

It is desirable to have a fleece with an even diameter from neck to breech.

Handle:

Cashmere is warm and extremely soft to touch. Combined with warmth and lightness, handle is the "selling point " for Cashmere garments.

Guard Hair Length:

Animals may have long, medium or short guard hair.

Yield:

Yield also greatly affects TDW and should preferrably be medium to high. Low yielding fleeces will incur greater costs in dehairing and therefore return less to the producer per kilogram of dehaired cashmere.

Colour:

There are both white and coloured Cashmere goats.
White Cashmere usually commands the highest price. White cashmeres may only display a few scattered coloured guard hairs at most.
Coloured cashmeres may have any colour guard hair. Their cashmere colour may range from light (non-pigmented down), to brown down.

Fibre Type - Cashgora:

Cashgora is a cross-bred fibre and is not acceptable. Cashgora is, broadly speaking, fleece with three fibre components: coarse guard hair, a fine (crinkled) down or "cash" portion and the longer shiny and straighter "intermediate" fibre or "gora" component - the so called third fibre. There must be a down component.