The Morefields started their herd when they brought home some Spanish wethers from Ann Wood in 2002. The Morefields wanted cashmere, but particularly wanted hardy goats that would help them clear their lush 17-acre Ohio property of brush, briars, and poison ivy. After the successful trial run with their wethers, the Morefields decided to become breeders in 2003, with cashmere as their primary goal.
The Morefield breeding herd started with cashmere does from Chris McGuire, via Kathryn Cooper, a former cashmere breeder in Southern Ohio. These are the genes that make the Morefield bloodline unique. They then added the now-famous ‘Cocoa’ from the Wood herd as a herd sire. And have also added some heavily-cashmered Syfan goats, and some Smoke Ridge.
The Morefields have been pleased that in their recollection, they’ve never had a ‘bad’ mom in their herd. Nor have they had a goat that they couldn’t handle easily. They enjoy the good temperaments of their goats, and the continued hardiness and cashmere production. They do not breed for meat, and prefer a brown coat to black.
Morefield nannies grow to be about 90-110 lbs., the billies have grown up to 200 lbs but are usually around 175 lbs. They are raised on natural forage using rotational grazing with hay provided in the winter December-April). They are given a little grain in the winter, and kids are also given some grain for a strong start. Also, the goats are vaccinated with CDT, and are given minerals. Vitamins or probiotics if needed, and baking soda free-choice. Deworming is done by the Famacha method.
The Morefield herd is trained to respect electric net fencing. They use run-in barns for shelter, and their hooves are checked twice per year, but usually only need trimming once per year. Rock piles help.
Breeding takes place in November, but neither males nor females are bred until they are 18 months old. The nannies kid unassisted in the Spring, and usually have twins, although singles and triplets are not uncommon.
The Morefields continue to work hard to conserve pure Spanish goats with great cashmere.
Story by Dian Morefield, May 2012.