Joe N. Brown
Joe N. Brown

This tale concerns angora goats and is a true story.

Let me correct that statement - it happened in three true stories.

During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, I was attempting to ranch in the Chihuahua Desert west of Sanderson in the southern tip of Pecos County.

I use the word attempting because although I worked at it, I was not productive.

I was herding about 1,200 sheep, 200 longhorn cattle and about 15 mare and colts.

It was an excellent operation on about 12,000 acres of desert.

I had borrowed a lot of money to get this far in the ranching business, but everything seemed to be against me. There was a lack of water, little rain, mountain lions, coyotes, eagles and bobcats.

A friend of mine gave me 100 head of angora goats. I bought billies and raised a crop of kids. When my herd got to 200 head, I sheered them. It was the month of August. It rained, turned cold and I lost them all.

Another rancher lost his lease and had nowhere to go with 500 nannies, so he made me a proposition. If I would take and pasture the goats, he would take the mohair and the billie kids for two years. Then, the nannies and many kids would be mine for the pasturage.

I took him up on the deal.

At the end of two years, I had about 350 old nannies and 300 nannie kids.

I thought I was in the goat business.


After shearing that fall, I delivered his mohair and the billie kids to him.

I thought our deal was over.


That night, while all the angora goats were still in the goat trap, it rained a cold rain and they all died - everyone!

Later on, I decided to try big mutton goats instead of nannies. I had the auction at Junction send me big two and three-year-old muttons.

I decided I would just raise goats for the hair so that I would not lose again.

My shearing captain built me some goat sheds. I already had the used material. So, all I was out was the labor.

It was a beautiful set of goat sheds. I never got to use them. After shearing that fall, it came another cold rain and the goats were not in the sheds.
I lost them all!

That was the end of my angora sheep business. What the rain didn’t kill, the coyotes and eagles claimed.

So, I can honestly say I went out of the goat business three times.