Why you should consider boer goats if getting into the goat meat industry.
The boer goat was developed for its meat and hardiness to adapt to many different environments.
In this post I’ll answer a few questions on raising boer goats. They are a larger framed, double muscled type of goat made to put on meat. A boer can flourish on poorer quality pasture land than cattle. They tend to be more grazers and like a smorgasbord of different types of plants to eat, while cattle are more particular about what they eat. Some people will run boers into the pasture after they’ve pulled the cattle off just to help clean up the weeds. There are even some advantages to having cattle and boer goats together in the same pasture. Goats and cattle have different intestinal parasites and by digesting the others’ parasites will kill and reduce the amount of parasites in the pasture.
A boer goat has a calmer nature and can mingle with most animals. It seems the more you handle them the gentler they become. There are always some with any breed of animal that seem to have a mind of their own no matter what you do.
The boer does are reported to have superior mothering skills with high fertility rates and are polyestrous, which means they can breed several times of the year. Having twins is quite commonplace with the birth of occasional triplets thrown in for a bonus. This can weigh in quite heavily when considering raising boer goats. You may average three kiddings over two years. When raising meat goats this can add to the profit margin. Just be sure to consider your does health and increased feeding costs into this equation also. This could really be to your advantage if you are raising capretto. (The goat version of veal)
The gestation period of a boer doe is five months. It’s usually best to wait until they are about sixty five percent of the weight of the other does in the herd before breeding them. This is probably putting them somewhere around a year and a half old depending how good of a forager they are, some cases earlier. Size and structure can mean a lot when it comes time to have her kids.
When looking for breeding stock of boer goats it is always good to get a history of the herd along with health records. Then you should give a physical examination of the animal before buying.
When looking at a boer goat they should have a healthy, happy appearance. They should not be limping or hard pressed to get up when lying down. If they are kneeling down a lot to eat or just resting this could be a sign of something wrong. Foot scald and foot rot could be the problem. Just lift their feet and check between the hooves for any sign of infection. This can happen without proper foot care and living conditions that are always wet, muddy or heavily contaminated with feces.
Walk around behind the animal and check their rear end for any signs of diarrhea. The behind should clean and dry, not soiled or crusty with feces.
Size does matter. The size of the unit is proportional to how fertile the buck is.
To find out everthing you need to know about boer goats all in one spot you can check out the Boer Goat guide here.