Filed Under: General Care
The most popular breed of meat goat in North America is the Boer. The breed was originally developed in South Africa by a Dutch rancher by crossing the native African goats with the European dairy breeds of goats. The name “Boer” comes from the Dutch word for farmer.
Boer goats are large-framed with massive, meaty muscling. Bucks will tip the scales at between 250 to 350 pounds with the does being smaller at 150 to 250 pounds. The Boar has a sturdy, wide-set horns that sweep gracefully back from their skulls instead of up and out like the horns of other meat goat breeds.
Boer goats have large, pendulous ears, a Roman-nose and are typically sparkling white in color with a cherry red head and neck. A two-toned goat is referred to as a “traditional.” Most traditions will have facial markings of snips of white to an all face-encompassing blaze. Other colors vary from tan to dark-brown with markings on their necks and upper shoulders.
Boers are a prolific breed of goat with twins being the norm, triplets occurring with15% of births and even quads are not uncommon. The doe delivers a rich, high-butterfat milk. Does have four functional teats.
This breed of goat is affectionate and easy to handle.
Goats by nature are typically browsers and prefer brush, shrubs and broadleaf weeds to grass as forage.
Gestation in the Boer varies from 149 to 155 days. Most does are very good mothers and typically require minimal attention during delivery. The mothering instinct may not be fully developed in first time mothers and maiden does should be supervised on their first delivery.
The Boer breed is very susceptible to intestinal parasites and in a humid or wet environment may have more foot problems.