Originating in South Africa in the 1900s for meat production, Boer goats have since been selectively bred for high resistance to disease, docile temperament, fast-growing, and high fertility rate.
Boer goats do well in the Central Valley of California due to their adaptability to hot, dry climates.
Boer goats usually have white bodies and distinctive brown heads, although they can be completely brown, black, or almost any combination now. They have long, pendulous ears and are noted for having a gentle temperament. Coupled with their fast-growing and high fertility rates, they are a good breed for goat farms.
Compared to other types of goats, Boer does have been reported to have superior mothering skills. This also lends to happy and healthy kids.
For show-quality goats, very large does are used as show goats. However, for meat production, medium-sized does are normally preferred. Medium sized doess produce the same number of kids, but less feed is required which reduces the cost of breeding.
Boer goats are polyestrous which means that they can breed at any time of the year. They are fully matured at 10 months and can then begin to breed. Generally, a Boer goat will produce three kid crops every two years. For example, the does are pregnant for five months and nurse their kids for three. Then, they are rebred.
Fully grown Boer bucks weigh 240 – 300 pounds (110 – 135 kg), and mature does weigh 200 – 220 pounds (90–100 kg ). Kids, at their prime marketability age, are usually sold when they weigh between 50 – 80 pounds.
The addition of their unique genes can offer any breed of goats being raised for meat improvement. Show goats are bred to represent the most desirable characteristics of the Boer goat. Showing goats in livestock competitions introduces these animals to the public, and it is a method of recognizing the best of the breed.
Boer goats also make very good pets due to their docile nature.
Choosing A Meat Goat
To view a well summarized tip on meat goat animal selection by Cindy Kinder and Denise Mavencamp at the University of Idaho, click here.