Boer goats are some of the most in demand meat goat breeds. This is due to their hardy natures, fast growth, high reproductive rate and tendency to produce twins. They were bred in South Africa to eat and clear plants that were hard to remove. This also means that they are able to withstand extreme dry weather and forage even in the snow. For this reason they are becoming more popularly sold for their meat or as breeding stock.
One of the essential things to master when raising or farming goats is breeding. The goats need to be healthy so that they can reproduce properly. Most breeds also have a set goat breeding age. Most kinds of goats have a specific age when they reach puberty and when they can mate.
The Does and the Bucks
First time breeders are encouraged to start with a handful of does and a few bucks. The burden of producing quality offspring is typically in the boer buck; however, does have a part in the process as well.
Good breeders typically keep good records of the lineage and reproductive records of breeding stock. When considering animals, make sure to check how many kids they have produced, the quality of the kids and their health. It is best to choose a doe that has already kidded before.
Bucks are typically more expensive than does so it’s prudent to be more careful when choosing one. Make sure they are not overweight because it needs to be strong enough to visit all the does. Excess fat also hinders the production of sperm.
Since boer goats tend to put weight more quickly than other breeds, it’s best to use that as a standard than goat breeding age. Bucks reach a weight of 32 kg as early as 3 to 6 months; this is considered puberty. Most male boers can already be used for breeding as young as 5 to 6 months.
The puberty period for Boer does is about 6 months. Before breeding the animals, it’s best to let them grow a bit more. Breeding the does before they reach the proper weight can stunt their growth. Even if they produce healthy kids and survive the birthing, they won’t reach their maximum weight. Having does reproduce early also increases the chances of the kid getting stuck on the way out of the birth canal. This can lead to the death of both the kid and the doe.
Boer does have no fixed goat breeding age. Once they reach about 65% of the total weight of other full-grown does in the herd, they can then be mated. This increases the chances of them surviving and producing multiple offspring. Most boer does can reach the ideal weight in 1 to 1 ½ years.