Are you curious to know about the Boer goat? This is basically all you need to know.
The Boer goat originated in South Africa, bred by Dutch farmers in the 1900s. This Dutch influence has stayed with the goat as they started to move out of South Africa, as the name 'boer' actually comes from the Dutch word for farmer. The Boer goat was brought to the United States in 1993, and since then has become one of the most popular goats for meat production.
Their selective breeding over the last century has led to fast growth rates and excellent meat qualities, make them a popular choice for farmers. In addition, Boer goats have high disease resistance and adapt well to nearly every environment.
Boer goats have white bodies and distinctive brown heads. They also have long pendulous ears and are known for having high fertility rates!
When it comes to cross-breeding meat goat breeds, common crosses are Boer x Spanish goat, Boer x Angora goat, Boer x Kiko goat, Boer x Nubian goat, Boer x Sirohi, Boer x Osmanabadi, and Boer x Jamnapari goat.
While the primary purpose of Boer goats is meat production, a growing number of people are keeping them as companion pets or show goats. Known as "gentle giants" due to their large size and laid-back personalities, these docile goats are great with both children and other animals.
How about some fun facts about the Boer goat? Small Farmers Journal tells us,
- This goat breed is hardy and disease resistant (this cannot be emphasized enough!)
- They make wonderful mothers
- Curious about the characteristics of Boer goats? They're very intelligent, reliable and very meaty
- The Boer is the top meat producer for goat meat
If you're looking to purchase a Boer goat, the American Boer Goat Association has a list of registered breeders on their website. Price will vary depending on the breeder, but purebred Boer goats generally range between $150 and $400.
Hover over the image for more information.
Boer goats have a stature larger than most goats, with a higher-than-average weight. Does (females) weigh between 190 and 230 pounds whereas bucks (males) weigh between 200 and 340 pounds.
The hair of the Boer goat is short and glossy, but may develop a thicker winter down if living in colder environments.
The traditional Boer goat coloring consists of a white body with reddish brown heads, with or without a white blaze. Other acceptable colors of Boer goats are all white, all reddish brown, or paint (large spots of different colors on their body).
The Boer goat has a distinctly convex heads and long, floppy ears that lay smoothly against the head without blocking the eyes.
Both does and bucks have horns, which are thick and dark, and curl back as they grow.
Boer goats have acquired the nickname of “gentle giant" due to their large size and laid-back attitude. This docile demeanor makes them great show goats as well as companion animals.
Images via Able Acres Boer Goats