Boer goats: these African goats were bred specifically for meat production. (The goat barn).
Like the pilgrim spoken of in my favorite My Favorite is an independent synthpop band from Long Island, New York. They released two CDs: Love at Absolute Zero and Happiest Days of Our Lives. My Favorite broke up on September 14, 2005, when singer Andrea Vaughn left the band. Kris Kristofferson song "The Pilgrim:Chapter 33," my goats may too appear to be "a walking contradiction." They were conceived in South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , born in Canada, and are now thriving in West Texas. They are the highly adaptable South African Boer goat.
Although I had "pet goats" since a young child, my adventure in Boer goats did not start until 1993, when my father, a veterinarian veterinarian /vet·er·i·nar·i·an/ (vet?er-i-nar´e-an) a person trained and authorized to practice veterinary medicine and surgery; a doctor of veterinary medicine.
n. , was asked to certify the health of a $30,000 goat for a local farmer. When I heard the price, I told my dad that I had to see this goat for myself. Upon viewing this four-month-old buck kid, I realized that this was no ordinary milk goat. He was incredibly large, muscular, and in my eyes In My Eyes was a Boston straight edge band that spearheaded the 1997 youth crew revival along with Ten Yard Fight, Bane, The Trust, Fastbreak and Floorpunch. The band and its members were a part of the hot bed that was the Boston music scene in the late 90's and early 2000's. , handsome. The owner told us that he was a Boer goat and that the breed came from the Republic of South Africa.
Truly impressed by the powerful young kid, my father and I began to research the breed. We learned that "Boer" means "farm" in Afrikaans and that the breed was developed over several decades by South African farmers who rigorously selected native goats for efficient meat production. We learned that the Boer goat was the world's only breed of goat bred specifically for meat production. We also learned that they were regarded as a highly fertile, hardy goat that was known for its rapid weight gain and general efficiency. Impressed by what we read and saw, we felt that Boers had the potential to revolutionize the meat goat industry and give traditional farms a viable alternative livestock to raise. Since live specimens could not be imported from South Africa, We soon found ourselves ordering frozen Boer embryos. In a few months, the embryos arrived and were implanted into milk goats. After five months, we found ourselves surrounded by nearly 40 big, bold, bouncing Boer goat kids. Although the astronomical prices were long gone and reality had set in, we realized that we enjoyed them immensely and that they still had an immeasurable future in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. .
The Boers thrived in the cold weather, often playing in the snow while their dairy goat Dairy goats are personable, hardy, and a very rewarding animal. A female goat is called a Doe. A male goat is called a Buck. If the male goat is castrated it is called a wether. Goats milk is the most consumed milk in the world. moms huddled hud·dle
1. A densely packed group or crowd, as of people or animals.
2. Football A brief gathering of a team's players behind the line of scrimmage to receive instructions for the next play.
3. in the barn. However, we realized that the Canadian location was a problem. The demand for "chevon," or goat meat, and meat goat breeding-stock was high in Canada, but the demand for show-quality breeding stock, which we were raising, remained low. Soon we found ourselves looking south of the border, to Texas, for relief and increased opportunities.
Texas has long been considered "goat country." Over the last century, Texas, particularly the western region, has been home to millions of goats, primarily Angoras and Spanish. In west Texas, the Boer goat found a true "home away from home." The rugged terrain with thick brush and hot, dry climate was very similar to their native land. Before we knew it, we had sold our farm in Canada and were the proud owners of a small ranch in the heart of Texas "goat country." Although the goats moved and we make frequent visits, we still live in Canada for personal and business reasons. Despite our absence, the Canadian born-and-raised herd quickly adapted to the hot, dry weather of their new southern home.
In Texas, our herd known as "Range Boss Boer Goats," has thrived and expanded. Although we remain a relatively small herd, we have developed a reputation for producing top quality goats, both physically and genetically. Unlike many breeders, we have placed extra emphasis on genetics, and in return have found that our goats have more consistent offspring than many others. It is very satisfying to see a nice, uniform set of kids, all sired by the same buck, but out of a variety of does. On the physical side, several goats from our herd have enjoyed successful show careers, including RBBG "38 Special" who was crowned Grand Champion at the huge 2000 Houston Livestock Show The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. . Since we have a firm belief in bettering this breed rather than just profiting from it, we have selected our herd for improved length, muscling, structural soundness, and breed-character (the physical characteristics specific to any breed). Fertility, high fecundity fecundity /fe·cun·di·ty/ (fe-kun´dit-e)
1. in demography, the physiological ability to reproduce, as opposed to fertility.
2. ability to produce offspring rapidly and in large numbers. , non-seasonal breeding, and rapid weight gain have also been important considerations in our selection. In our herd, twins are most common, although we have had four sets of quadruplets and numerous sets of triplets. Roughly half of our herd is bred out-of-season, primarily May through June, unlike dairy goats who will only breed in the fall and winter. While on supplemental feed, our kids average daily weight gains range from 0.40 to 1.0 pounds per day depending on sex and age. Due to our level of selection and emphasis on quality, we have seen dramatic improvements in nearly every kid crop. We find great satisfaction in the improvement and feel that we are doing our part to better this great breed.
Despite nearly 15 years of experience with goats, this breed's unique qualities and characteristics never cease to amaze us. For example, the breed's fertility, fecundity, and out-of-season breeding ability became evident to me three years ago, when a group of nine does kidded in the fall with a total of 22 kids, including one set of quadruplets. Although it was an exceptionally dry summer, which would normally be the worst possible time to breed dairy goats, those fertile and heat tolerant Boer does conceived a near record number of kids. On an international scale, they have immensely impressed me by their adaptability. From the soggy slopes of New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. to the parched parch
v. parched, parch·ing, parch·es
1. To make extremely dry, especially by exposure to heat: The midsummer sun parched the earth. deserts of Africa, and from the small farms of Europe to the vast ranches of Texas, Boer goats have adapted and thrived in every environment.
In North America, their most important accomplishment is the tremendous influence that they have had on meat goats and the industry. On our first trips to Texas, when Boers were still quite rare, we never once saw Boer-cross goats in commercial meat herds. The herds mainly consisted of native Spanish goats The Spanish goat came originally from Spain via Mexico to the USA. It is now a meat type goat found primarily on or around the Edwards Plateau of Central Texas. The Spanish goat has the ability to breed out of season and is an excellent range animal because of its small udder and , which although very hardy, have poor muscling and slow weight gain. Since those original trips, the Boer goats have had an explosive influence on the commercial meat herds. Now it is fairly uncommon to see a meat goat that does not contain a hearty dose of Boer genetics.
As for the breed's future in North America, I think that it is brighter than any other breed of livestock on the continent. Specifically bred for rapid and efficient meat production, this breed is unequaled. Since chevon remains in high demand but supplies remain relatively low, I feel that now is the time for large-scale and small-scale ranchers alike to join the small but well established meat goat industry. Besides the increased muscling and size, the Boer goat's non-seasonal breeding ability offers producers the opportunity to market prime meat goats in relatively untapped seasonal markets, such as the lucrative Easter market, which has long been a profitable market for the meat sheep industry. (Ed. note: Here in the U.S., Easter has always been big for the meat goat business.)
If health and management levels are high, it is possible to achieve three kid crops in two years with the Boer breed, which should dramatically increase the gross number of kids produced. An exciting side benefit of this breed's grazing grazing,
n See irregular feeding.
1. actions of herbivorous animals eating growing pasture or cereal crop.
2. area of pasture or cereal crop to be used as standing feed. See also pasture. habits is the possibility to profitably control brush and weeds, both for aesthetic and practical reasons, on private and public lands. Besides the free grazing, profit can be realized in terms of a small fee paid by the land owners for the goat-grazing services. In California, meat goats are being used to control brush in areas that are at high risk for devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. fires. In Wyoming, there is a similar enterprise involving goats controlling noxious weeds Noxious weeds are plant species that have been designated by state or national agricultural authorities as plants that are injurious to agricultural and/or horticultural crops and/or humans and livestock. for the city of Cheyenne.
Since approximately 60-80% of a goat's diet is composed of forbes and browse, they can be grazed graze 1
v. grazed, graz·ing, graz·es
1. To feed on growing grasses and herbage.
a. To eat a variety of appetizers as a full meal. along with sheep and cattle with little competition for forage forage
Vegetable food, including corn and hay, of wild or domestic animals. Harvested, processed, and stored forage is called silage. Forage should be harvested in early maturity to avoid a decrease in protein and fibre content as crops mature. . The decreased brush will allow more light to reach ground-level promoting grass growth. Due to their docile doc·ile
1. Ready and willing to be taught; teachable.
2. Yielding to supervision, direction, or management; tractable. , laid-backed personalities, small acreage owners can find Boer goats pleasurable and low maintenance "lawn-mowers" and "tree trimmers." Perhaps more than any other groups, homesteaders and those interested in self-sufficiency can benefit from the Boer breed. Since the kids grow rapidly and the does give moderate amounts of milk, a relatively small herd of five to 10 does could easily supply sufficient amounts of milk and ample amounts of meat for the average family.
To those who have been intrigued by this unique breed, I would suggest that you do some research, especially if you have no previous experience with goats, and "shop around" before you buy. Look for a breeder breeder
1. a person with an animal enterprise involving the multiplication of the herd, flock or group.
2. a female animal used basically for the production of saleable young. that is striving to better the breed. Look for long, stout, muscular Boers that gain weight well and have shiny coats. Learn the breed's conformation con·for·ma·tion
One of the spatial arrangements of atoms in a molecule that can come about through free rotation of the atoms about a single chemical bond. standard and do not buy goats with serious faults, even if the price is reduced. And most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , enjoy your "Boer adventure."
DOUG EVANS RANGEBOSS99@MONARCH.NET