Boer Goat

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The Boer Goat, as a South African landrace, has been successful as a registered small stock breed and it can indeed be found in many countries across the world, where it has adapted to the environment and often been further crossbred.

The Boer goat is a breed of goat that was developed in South Africa in the early 1900s for meat production. The name derives from the Afrikaans (Dutch) word "boer", meaning farmer. Boer goats are a popular breed for meat and their breeding season starts in August and runs through December.

The Boer goat was probably bred from the indigenous goats (they originated from South Africa) of the Namaqua, San and the Fooku tribes, with some crossing of Indian and European bloodlines being possible. They were selected for meat rather than milk production. Due to selective breeding and improvement, the Boer goat has a fast growth rate and excellent carcass qualities, making it one of the most popular breeds of meat goat in the world. Boer goats have a high resistance to disease and adapt well to hot, dry semi deserts, that are common in South Africa.

Boer goats commonly have white bodies and distinctive brown heads. Some Boer goats can be completely brown or white or paint, which means large spots of a different color is on their bodies. Like the Nubian goat, they possess long, pendulous ears. They are noted for being docile, fast-growing, and having high fertility rates. Boer goats tend to gain weight at about the same rate as their sire, so a buck from a proven fast-growing bloodline will command the highest price, as its offspring will tend to also be fast growers.

While purebred bucks are usually preferred for breeding purposes, it is common to use crossbred does for kid production, with the resulting offspring being 7/8 or more Boer. It is thus very common to find Boer Goats that have been crossbred with other breeds on the market. Today there is thus a tendency to crossbreed and it is important to preserve the pure breed.

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Adrian Cloete