Boer goat is known for fast growth rate and excellent carcass qualities. The breed is originated in South Africa. Now Boer can be seen in many countries well adapted to their local conditions and even cross-bred with local goats like Jamunapari goat, Angora goat, a Spanish goat, Kiko, Nubian, Sirohi, and Osmanabadi.
Boer is the word from the Afrikaans(Dutch), meaning farmer. South Africans developed Boer goat for meat production around the 1900s. Out of all meat goats, Boer is the top meat producer. The easy birthing, gentle behavior, the hardy, and very meaty characteristic has made Boer a famous goat of all time.
Out of all meat goats, Boer is the top meat producer.
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Boer goat history
Boer goats are believed to be derived from the landrace goats of the San, Namaqua and the Fooku tribes with some crossing of European and Indian bloodlines. The main purpose was to increase meat production. A couple of selective breeding and some improvement resulted in the best meat goat.
In 1959, the first Boer association was created in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The South African Boer Goat Breeders Association was found.
The Boer goat has been into the National Mutton Sheep and Goat Performance Testing Scheme since 1970 making it the first goat breed involved in meat production performance testing.
Boer goats were first introduced to the United States in 1993 from New Zealand and Australia. The American Boer Goat Association was formed the same year.
With over 7000 membership the American Boer Goat Association is the largest Boer association in the world. Around 45k head is registered annually.
Boer goat characteristics
The standard Boer goat is a large white body, redhead, brown eyes, pendulous ears, curved horns, and strong short legs.
The Boer goat is made of two colors white body and a brown head. But sometimes Boer comes in different patterns of colors, completely brown or white or some large spots of other colors. But kids can be brown, black, white or mixed.
Boer meat has better flavor and texture when compared to other goat meat.
The Boer goat weight of adult males reaches 350 lbs (160 kg) and females weigh around 250 lbs (110 kg).
Meat is lean with a very less fat percentage.
The Boer goat is considered as a polyestrous breeder. It can breed all year long.
The kidding rate is around 200 percentage, most preferred trait in Boer.
Most of the Boer nannies have two kids or triplets. Know for easy birthing and good motherly traits. The weaning rates are around 160 percentage.
Boer doe is a low maintenance breed and has sufficient milk to rear kids.
Boer goats can have 3 kidding cycle in 2 years.
Boer goat is known for fast growth rate and excellent carcass quality. There is no goat that produces as much as Boer meat.
The Boer kid reaches a weight of 36 kg (80lb) at 90 days.
The Males are matured as early as 6 months and females are ready for 10 to 12 months.
Boer goat has the ability to sustain on arid range conditions and also in lush pastures.
Very well adjusted to hot weather, desert conditions and having high resistance to diseases.
The temperament of Boer is a goat is more docile and friendly. But Bucks are aggressive when they are in a rut. But overall they are gentle and intelligent breeds.
An American purebred is a Boer goat of 15/16ths Boer blood (F4) for does and 31/32nds blood (F5) for Boer bucks.
Raising Boer goat for profit
Boer goats are top meat produced among all goats. Yet correct measures to be taken for commercial meat production.
- If you are raising goats for show purpose then choose large-sized does.
- For meat production purposes always go with medium-sized does. As they produce the same number of kids with less consumption on feed.
- Considering affordability and ease of acquisition the crossbred Boer goats are best.
- Considering the polyestrous trait of Boer, the planning of kids needs to be done. As you can produce year-long kids with them.
- Boer can have three kidding cycle in two years. The first time does give birth to one kid, but as they progress two kids are common, and sometimes triplets.
Crossbreeding Boer goats
For breeding purposes, only purebred bucks are preferred.
For kid production, the crossbreed does are used.
An American purebred is a Boer goat of 15/16ths Boer blood (F4) for does and 31/32nds blood (F5) for Boer bucks. More information on crossbreeding read on wiki
- F1: 1/2 Boer blood (Pureblood buck sire, another breed doe)
- F2: 3/4 Boer blood (Pureblood buck sire, F1 doe)
- F3: 7/8 Boer blood (Pureblood buck sire, F2 doe)
- F4: 15/16 Boer blood (Pureblood buck sire, F3 doe)
- F5: 31/32 Boer blood (Pureblood buck sire, F4 doe)
The interesting facts about Boer goats
The brown head or maroon coloring head is to keep the sun glare down and white body to protect from the heat of the sun. Dark pigmentation also protects from the sun’s harmful rays. Read more on the Boer facts.
The Boer buck demands the highest price. The offsprings(kids) will gain weight at the same rate as the sire. The pureblood Boer bucks are always in high demand.
Crossbreeding with Boer bucks has become common. The local goats get crossed with Boer goat, to get Boer meat-producing characteristics along with local goats characteristics like multiple kidding or disease-resistant traits.
The Boer goat meat fat percentage is less than that of chicken. About 2.6 percentage less than chicken fat.
Boer goat doesn’t require more feed, but if well-fed they gain weight quickly.
The exceptional Boer goat can put up 200g/day(0.44 lbs/day) weight, but a standard Boer add 150 to 170 g/day(0.3 to 0.4 lbs/day). The weight gains per day are economical and exceptional among all goats.
Some breeders prefer solid colors on Boer, but scientifically it doesn’t contribute to any significance.
Initially, when the Boer goats were introduced to the United States, the breed was on high demand and priced premium. But now due to availability, the prices are nominal. Even now some of the breeders have kept Boers which are not fit for the breed standard but as a show pet.
The American goat meat industry is highly influenced by Boer goat meat. The ethnic groups who are grown with goat meat, have a strong affinity to consume goat meat in the USA as well. The present importation of goat meat into the United States is around 30 million dollars annually.
If you are thinking about to purchase Boer goats, go with the list of registered breeders on the American Boer Goat Association website. Recently the Boer goats are quietly affordable, the price range is between $150 to $400.
An American purebred Boer can never be registered as Fullblood(FB), read more on the wiki
Boer goat disadvantages
- The abundance of poor-quality Boers is everywhere.
- High feed requirements of goats from show lines (not usually a problem in goats bred for commercial production).
- Susceptibility to internal parasites.