tasty, friendly and handsome... and boy do they know it!
THE BOER goat was developed for meat production in South Africa in the early 1900s. The Boer was imported into the UK in the late 1980s, but unlike other breeds of goat, the Boers prime purpose is meat production rather than milk.
The Boer is a large framed goat. This means that it produces a larger, meatier carcass and it can reach slaughter weight at around 7-10 months of age, depending on the type of system it is reared on. Carcass weights can vary from 16-28kg, depending on age, the rearing system and intended market for the meat.
Boers can thrive on a variety of rearing systems and climates, making them a very versatile and addictive breed. Although they are not bred to produce large quantities of milk, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t the ideal dual-purpose goat for someone who wants an animal both for meat and to produce a sensible amount of milk for their own consumption.
Boer meat is particularly healthy. It is high in iron, low in cholesterol and is lean — it is also very tasty and versatile. Any lamb dish you can think of can easily be translated into a goat dish — from curries, burgers, sausages, grilled meats and Sunday roasts to sausage rolls, pies and pasties. The variety of dishes that can be produced from goat meat are only limited by your imagination.
Boers are doting natural mothers who will regularly produce twins, triplets and sometimes even quads, twins being the most common number. Unlike other breeds of goat, Boers have four teats, meaning that as long as the doe is well fed and looked after she can rear multiple kids with great success; achieving a 200% kidding rate in a well managed Boer herd is perfectly possible.
Boer bucks are large and impressive animals with an imposing set of sweeping horns and skin pleats on their necks. They may be handsome, but boy do they know it!
Pure Boer bucks have been used with great success in dairy herds to produce more well fleshed kids that are suitable for eating and milk production. Boers also have a calm and gentle nature, making them ideally suited to smallholders. They adore human company and will nearly always come seek you out to investigate what you are up to —whether you want them to or not.
Boers can be found in three primary colours: traditional (the most common), consisting of white with brown heads; reds — a deep rich chestnut brown all over — and white, known as Savannah goats in Africa. Whites are not currently recognised in the UK as a true colour and so are classed as commercially marked.
Good quality Boer goats and their meat are in high demand. The consumption of goat meat in the UK is on the rise as more people become aware of its health benefits and realise that good quality kid meat is delicious, tender and tasty. Long gone are the days of old chewy dairy goats being the only source of goat meat in the UK. If you want good quality kid meat ask for Boer.
Boers have a calm and gentle nature, making them suitable for smallholders