23 December 2007

What is a Boer goat and why breed Boer goats?

Why are Meat Goats the fastest growing livestock industry in the world?
- "The demand for `chevon', or `cabrito', or `goat meat' in the United States is so high that producers can't keep up. Because of this vacuum, much of the goat meat sold in the United States is imported from New Zealand or Australia. About 1.5 million pounds of goat meat is imported every week. And demand just keeps growing.

What is so special about chevon (goat meat)? Many people have digestive problems that require a careful diet. The molecular structure of chevon is different than that of other meats. Therefore, chevon digests more easily. It is also a low fat, good tasting alternative to chicken or fish. I am one of those people who have to watch what they eat. I can eat chicken, some kinds of fish, turkey and chevon. I prefer chevon from an animal that is at least 75% Boer. The Boer influence changes the taste of the meat to a milder, more veal-like flavor.

Boer goats are large framed animals resembling, in many ways, the Nubian goat. The most striking difference between a Boer goat and any other type of goat you may have seen, is the size. A Boer is a large, double muscled animal developed in Southern Africa specifically for meat and hardiness. They can consistently produce more muscling in less time than any other breed of goat, and will pass this capability to their kids. Boers are easy to raise, have mild temperaments, are affectionate, require no milking, no special care, no shearing, and no fancy fences. Boers and Boer crosses also have huge rumen capacity. The Boer goats were developed to clear land that was too difficult to be cleared by humans. They spend a lot more time grazing than other types of goats do.

The above is an excerpt from the article "Why Raise Meat Goats?" by Gail Bowman. You can find the rest of the article at http://www.boergoatshome.com/

What is a Boer goat and why breed Boer goats?

-What is a Boer goat?
The Boer goat was developed in South Africa as a breed meant solely for meat production. The term "Boer" refers to the descendants of the Dutch immigrants, or Boers, most of them farmers, who settled the country; thus, "Boer" goat simply means "farmer's" goat. Because of the intense selective breeding over the past 50 years or more by South African goat breeders, the Boer goat is considered far superior to any other goat for meat production. It is known for rapid weight gain and heavy muscling and has high fertility. Boer does typically give birth to twins.

-What's a Boer goat good for?
That because the Boer was selectively improved for its meat production ability and its ability to pass on that trait to its offspring, along with other traits including pasture hardiness, the addition of a Boer buck to a commercial meat goat herd can improve the meat characteristics of the offspring without making them too "soft" to be pasture goats.

-What do Boer goats cost in Malaysia?
A fullblood Boer goat will cost around RM2500-3000 per head while F1 Boer goat will coast around RM700-1200 per head.The price will depend very much on the size, age and quality of the goat.

-Do I need Boer influence in my herd to be a successful meat goat producer?
Nope. Not at all. Right now you could probably do well raising and selling meat goats (providing demand holds at present levels and imports don't absolutely flood the country) even if you raised wild, skinny, tough, unimproved meat goats. But as the industry develops and grows, you'll probably want to add at least a Boer buck to your flock to compete with the meaty animals sure to hit the market in the near future.

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