All about Boer-Goat Farming

The Boer-goat breed has it's origin’s in South Africa where it was developed for meat production in the early 1900s for meat production. The name Boer comes from the Dutch and Afrikaans word Boer meaning Farmer.

I have been most fortunate to spend considerable time in South Africa and had the opportunity to study the breed well while there. The actual Boer goat breed was probably derived from indigenous goats that were herded by the Namaqua Bushmen and the Bantu tribes.

Subsequent cross breeding with European and Indian goat breeds has helped them to become the breed they are today. The selective breeding process was based on meat production rather than milk and so the goat has a very fast growth rate with very desirable carcass qualities. Many ethnic communities consume goat meat and the following are Ethnic Goat Calender details to help marketing of goat meat.

MORE ABOUT THE BOER-GOAT

The Boer also possesses a strong disease resistance and is very adaptable to harsh environments such as those found in Texas and Australia. I lived and worked for some time Texas and visited the main areas where goats are bred.

The Boer also has that characteristic white body and the distinctive red colored head. Like the Nubian goat they have long and pendulous ears.

Other desirable traits are there relatively docile temperament, their fast growth rates, and also high fertility rates (some of my does dropped quads and triplets this season).

The Boer-goat does are reputed to have superior mothering skills in comparison with dairy and fiber breeds (although I have not found this to be so myself, and it is a trait amongst first kidding does). A mature buck will weigh in the range of 110-135 kg (240-300 lb), and mature doe will weigh around 90-100 kg(200-220 lb).

Unlike the dairy goats I used to breed, the goat is polyestrous, which means they can breed continuously year round. The aim of high fertility and this characteristic means that over two years you can average three kidding's and with good nutrition and management practices you can reasonably hope or aim for up to 6 -9 kids. This offers good returns on investment when you are in the capretto milk fed kid market as I am.

As the doe can attain sexual maturity at anywhere from 5 to 9 months, breeding programs can be very effective when breeding up.

In a highly productive breeding regime based on 3 kid drop per 2 years, the Boer-goat does are pregnant for 5 months (150 days), they suckle the kids for 3 months, and then are re-joined again.

Does dropping large multiple kids are the most desirable for keeping and those dropping small and single kids should be culled. The Boer goat Gestation period is in the range 149 to 155 days.

ABOUT RAISING BOER-GOAT FOR PROFIT

Our own Boer goat herd

In the United States, Australia, New Zealand and other countries raising meat Boer for profit is slowly taking off and like all good markets is demand driven. Many farmers have negative attitudes to goats however they can be far more profitable than sheep and cattle. Many of the breed characteristics above are factors for considering raising meat goats. Quality is everything and all Boer goat breeders should aim for good carcass conformation, and well raised animals. Quality, quality and quality should be the maxim for all meat goat farmers.

Goat meat is often called chevon, cabrito or capretto. Australia is a major world supplier of quality goat meat to the United States and well as many other countries. Many people do not realise that some 63% of the red meat that is consumed daily worldwide is actually goat meat. The demand in western countries such as the United States and Australia or the UK is from ethnic groups that include Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Latin American and Caribbean people. Most of these people will choose to purchase goat meat whenever they have the opportunity.

Many people ask what is so special about goat meat. Many choose goat meat as it has no religious restrictions like pork. Unlike lamb it has far less fat and many prefer the flavours of goat over beef and sheep meats. The actual molecular structure of goat meat is different and as a result goat meat is more easily digested. The one big advantage is that it is very low fat and very low cholesterol which is ideal for the health conscious person. They make the best Indian style curry there is, and roasted is simply divine.

ABOUT STARTING A BOER-GOAT FARM

The key to any Boer goat farming enterprise is good pasture management and nutrition. There are very big differences in feeding and grazing behaviour between goats, sheep and cattle. Many meat goat enterprises try to use the goat as an environmentally friendly weed killer, others as a supplementary animal to cattle and sheep, some a feed lot setup and others like me focus entirely on goat production. In this section I will be passing on my own experiences and advice to other breeders and farmers and look forward to exchanging ideas and advice

ABOUT BOER-GOAT FENCING

Fencing is the number one priority on any Boer-goat enterprise. And I recall all to well on my first goat experience just how hard it was to keep them in when they found out how to escape. The very first task when setting up is to sort out the fencing. I will take you through various goat fencing issues and improvements that I have used and found effective. While Boer goats are relatively calm and docile they will still test a fence and go through it where it is weak as a matter of principle.

ABOUT BOER-GOAT DISEASES

The Boe -goat lives to a good age and will breed for up to 10 years. The Boer-goat also has good disease resistance but there are many things to watch out for. This section will pass on valuable information and disease advice.

Practical advice on raising the Boer-goat look for more information on this website


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