Scottish feral goats produce significant but non-economic quantities (98 g) of high quality (14 p) cashmere. Results of preliminary studies indicate that substantial increases in cashmere production could be achieved by genetic selection, but in an attempt to achieve a more rapid rate of progress a breeding strategy based on crossing native stock with superior imported genetic material has been adopted. Importations have been made from Iceland, Tasmania, New Zealand and Siberia, and estimates of production from exotic X feral progeny show significant increases in the weight of cashmere produced with concomitant increases in fibre diameter (r = 0.55). The selection objectives of the breeding group established to develop a Scottish cashmere goat are presented, and the strategy of pursuing these objectives within the framework of a group breeding scheme is discussed.

A. JF Russel, Stephen C Bishop

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XV. Beef cattle, sheep and pig genetics and breeding, fibre, fur and meat quality., , 204–208, 1990
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