Cute, friendly, and known for being "gentle giants," it's no wonder that the Boer goat has become so popular. While this goat breed was once used for meat production, you're more and more likely to see the Boer goat raised as a companion and family animal today, instead.
There are plenty of advantages to this breed. These goats are hardy and affordable. They're often great with kids. And, Boer goats make great mothers. Are you thinking of adding Boer goats to your farm? Then read on to learn more about this goat breed.
Boer Goat History
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.
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The Modern Boer Goat
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.
Boer Goat Uses
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.
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Images via Able Acres Boer Goats