Friday, November 2, 2007

Boer Goat

A brief history of the Boer Goat

The Boer Goat originated in South Africa about 65 years ago where farmers saw the need to improve the meat quality and quantity available from their local goat population. By selective breeding using various breeds of goats they were able to increase the carcass meat percentage at the same time producing an animal that was able to withstand the sunny conditions that prevailed with out developing skin cancers by ensuring that exposed skin was pigmented. The Boer Goat is continually evolving and improving. There are slight variations of the basic animal, while these all conform to the breed standard for Boer Goats there are “types” that may better suit local conditions or local preferences. In general the Boer Goat is a tractable and easy to manage animal showing all the traits required for excellent carcass qualities.

BOER GOAT CLASSIFICATION

Full blood Boer Goats
The Full Blood Boer Goat is such that all its ancestors trace back to South African Stud Books. There has been a practice in Australia to “grade up” animals to “Pure Bred” status. The term “Pure Bred” is confusing and should be considered carefully, as it is not a good practice to import / export such animals for breeding purposes. This grading up process entails the use of a Full Blood buck over a “base” doe and the resulting females are then classed as 1st cross. Then a Full Blood buck used over these does to produce 2nd cross does, which in turn are put to a Full Blood buck. This process is continued until the 4th cross is reached. Resultant does are then classed as “Pure Bred”. Another cross is required to produce a “Pure Bred” buck. These animals can NEVER become FULL BLOOD at any time, and CANNOT be used to produce FULL BLOOD animals. This breeding system is to be discontinued in the year 2006, and no further Pure Bred animals will be registered.

Stud and commercial classes
Stud animals are those, which are of a quality considered to be best capable of producing the type of animal needed to continue a successful breeding operation and should be the only animals considered where it is desired to produce further stud stock. It should be noted here that the Boer Goat is not yet a completely stable breed and therefore does not guarantee a fully “fixed” type. This applies to all Boer Goats worldwide and is not peculiar to Australian animals!
Commercial animals are Full Bloods, which are not considered “stud quality”.
Crossbred bucks should NEVER be considered for breeding in any circumstance, as they do not carry the required genetic material needed to improve “local” animals to ensure a gain in carcass quality.
The long-term benefit must be the consideration, not short-term price, as this will ultimately fail in the objective of providing improved meat production.

REGISTRATION

Registers

Standard and Red Stud Registers
The Boer Goat register in Australia contains all the registered animals in the Australian herd. Within the registration system there is a separate register for “Standard” coloured animals and for “Red” animals. The Red register contains both red and part red animals for breeders who desire to pursue this option. These registers are the animals contained in the herd book and have been separated to facilitate the divergence of the two sections of the breed. The “Red” Boer Goat is a Full Blood Boer Goat which has been bred from “standard coloured” Boer Goats. This variation has all the same qualities (see breed standard) except that it is “part” red to “full” red in colour. It must be remembered that at this point in the evolution of the Boer Goat the breed is not yet completely stabilized, as are say Angus cattle for example. Therefore, there is the possibility that animals from the “Standard” register will at times produce red or part red offspring from standard coloured Boer Goat matings. This in no way indicates that the sire and dam are not in fact full blood animals. This possibility must be considered when selecting breeding stock, as not all coloured animals are registered or shown in the pedigrees of all standard Boer Goats. Similarly the offspring from a “Red” mating may result in standard coloured kids.
Note. The registration system is being developed for the inclusion of Reds in the overall register showing the colour type of each animal

General Care

It is considered good practise to use scales in a breeding operation to obtain the necessary information required for efficient management. This is especially important when dealing with drenches and especially drugs. Over dosing is obviously wasteful and under dosing will not achieve the desired results. When considering anti-biotics the risk of developing resistance is of major concern throughout the world. Drenches have a similar problem with resistance; but there are other practices that can at least help in controlling these parasites.

Shelter is vitally important in cold wet weather, shade must be provided in summer.
Goats do not like to be wet and must be protected from the wind!
Shelter needs to be in an area that provides dry ground for the goats.

Mating

Mating can be at any time that suits individual breeders. In some climates breeding tends to be seasonal. Preferably, does should be mated at an age to kid at about 2 years of age. Kidding at this age allows the doe to mature before being expected to sustain kids to weaning age. One buck to forty does is about the normal maximum ratio.

Kidding


Problems are not usually encountered during kidding, but does should be observed whenever possible to assist should there be mal-presentation of kids etc. On most occasions twins will be produced, but at times triplets or quads will occur. Unfortunately this is not the benefit that one may be hoping for. With triplets there is generally one that will be pushed aside by bigger and more determined siblings, at the same time the others will not perform as well as if there was only two.



Kids will require protection from predators while young and this must be carried out to suit local situations, as the predators themselves will vary greatly from area to area and therefore the method of control.

Where a breeding operation is on a small scale with expensive stud animals, the kidding does should be brought in close to human activity wherever possible. It has been found on some smaller Australian properties where the predators are nocturnal (generally foxes) it has been beneficial to operate lighting near the kidding paddock on a time switch to turn on and off at varying times during the night. It is essential that the time varies and is not a regular “on / off” period. A broadcast radio playing on an all night station gives the impression that humans are in close proximity. This may not be applicable in all countries or situations. Trapping, shooting and baiting are effective where local laws permit. Vermin proof fencing with strategically placed electric wires is of benefit where only small areas need protecting. The use of dogs or alpacas has also been successful in some areas. Predatory birds such as eagles are a potential problem and can only be dealt with according to local laws.

Weaning

Weaning of bucks should be carried out at 3 months to prevent them mating with any does, as they can become active at about 4 months. Weaning will cause a temporary setback in growth due to stress, consideration should be given to ensuring that plenty of top quality feed is available at all times and attention to worms is required.

Diseases of goats

Goats are susceptible to a number of diseases common to sheep and goats. With good husbandry practice these should not be of great concern. Should a problem occur, consultation with your local Vet. should be the first contact. With experience, the breeder can handle most occurrences.

Fiction
“Rumours” abound, for example, “goats are hardy”. In general goats can survive in most situations but do need to have time to adjust to new conditions when moved to a totally new environment.
In cold and or wet conditions goats need shelter and should not be subjected to bare unprotected paddocks. Goats like any other animal require normal animal husbandry to produce to their full potential.

“Goats eat anything”, another fallacy, while goats do eat a wide variety of plants, often including those unpalatable to other livestock, they are selective and must have access to adequate clean and fresh feed at all times suitable to their requirements.

“Goats are impossible to keep in”, goats do have a habit of finding a weakness in fencing, but in general are no harder to contain than most other types of livestock.

While not completely false, the claim that “goats may be added to an existing grazing operation without reducing the stock numbers”, is not necessarily correct. This can occur in exceptional situations but is not normally the case. Where animals are supported entirely on pasture this cannot occur as all the stock is dependant on that same food supply. Care must be exercised when considering this claim.

“Stud goats all look like those that appear in show magazines”. This is rarely the case, as those prepared for shows are generally “over conditioned” and “groomed to excess”. This situation would not occur in normal husbandry. Buyers should not look for this degree of preparation.

“Boer Goats grow at exceptional rates”. This is indeed a fact, but purchasers need to be aware that many producers tend to promote the weight gains for selected animals with a feeding regime that is not viable in a “commercial” operation. This gives an unreasonable expectation for most situations. Bucks may attain weights around 30KG at weaning by 3 months. Does are generally a little lighter. These kids are supplementary fed. By 12 months selected bucks may weigh as much as 95 KG. Again these animals are grain fed and these figures are rarely achievable under normal “commercial” conditions.

2 comments:

naturel said...

hai...fairos.. nak ucap tima kasih bebanyak kat awak kerana meluangkan masa kat Subway bersama saya...appreciate your sincere advise & opinion.. harap bleh beri tunjuk ajar lagi... semoga hajat saya nak menjadi penternak & usahawan kambing yg berjaya tercapai..ameen.. :)

naturel said...

btw.. macammna nak email awak directly yek?