32 Excellent Questions About Boer Goats!
Table of contents
- 1. Can Boer goats have triplets?
- 2. What is the earliest age that a Boer doe can be bred?
- 3. What are some best practices for raising Boers to produce good meat?
- 4. Can Boer goats be cross-bred with other goat breeds? If yes, what are the benefits of cross-breeding?
- 5. What are the most profitable ages to buy and sell Boer goats?
- 6. What are the features that identify the best Boer bucks, and at what age are those features prominent?
- 7. How can I tell if the Boer goats I’m planning to buy are 100% full blood buck and full blood does?
- 8. What kind of health testing is done on goats?
- 9. What kinds of animals make good companions for Boer goats?
- 10. Is it possible to successfully raise Boer goats along with dairy goats?
- 11. Do Boer goats get along with sheep?
- 12. What is the best grass and legumes to grow on pastures for sustainability and nutrition?
- 13. What is the best feed for Boer goats? What is the best way to feed them?
- 14. What type of fencing do they need?
- 15. How can I keep the Boer goats healthy in a very grassy pasture?
- 16. What are the best practices for raising healthy Boer goats?
- 17. What are the biggest health problems with Boer goats?
- 18. What are the land requirements for Boer goats?
- 19. What are some best practices for caring for Boer goats?
- 20. What are the climate requirements for Boer goats? Are they suited to any climate?
- 21. Are there any tips or tricks to make things safe but less expensive in order to operate efficiently?
- 22. What are the best practices for marketing Boer goats?
- 23. What age should Boer bucks be sold?
- 24. What are the ethnicities that eat the goat meat?
- 25. What are the most effective and profitable methods to utilize in raising Boer kids for market?
- 26. How can I raise Boer goats profitably on a small acreage?
- 27. What kind of shelter do Boer goats need?
- 28. How much does it cost to get started in Boer goats?
- 29. How can I find cheap Boer goats to get started?
- 30. What grants are available for goat farmers?
- 31. What is the best number of bucks and does to start with for a complete beginner?
- 32. What are the physical requirements for raising Boer goats? In other words, can a farmer be too old to raise Boer goats?
1. Can Boer goats have triplets?
The Boer doe generally has a mean kidding rate of 200%, which implies two kids per pregnancy. However, triplet births are known to occur occasionally. But the ideal expectation of an average goat breeder is two goats per pregnancy. Kids in multiple births of more than two are less likely to survive till weaning. As well, the weights of such kids tend to be lower than the average. While the breeding rates of the Boer doe are generally “indeterminate”, it is highly possible for the goat to have up to three births in two years.
2. What is the earliest age that a Boer doe can be bred?
Boer goats basically attain sexual maturity at the age of five months. For the bucks, puberty begins as early as 3 months, and they can weigh 32 kg between 3 months and 6 months. But majority of bucks are ready for breeding as early as 5 to 6 months of ages. On the other hand, the Boer doe can start breeding as early as 6 months.
However, it is very important to note that early breeding may stunt the doe’s growth and even lead to serious reproductive issues. For instance, abnormal positioning of the kid is a very common birth-related complication that is typically experienced by doe that started breeding very early. In some cases, this issue can lead to the death of both the doe and its kids.
Majority of Boer doe are retired after attaining 10 years of age. But it is possible to breed her for longer period of time, if she is adequately care and allow to give birth once in a year. So for the best possible result and quality, it is advisable to allow a Boer doe to celebrate its first birthday, before allowing it to breed.
3. What are some best practices for raising Boers to produce good meat?
There are several advantages of rearing Boer goats. Apart from being an excellent source of meat, Boer goats are also resistant to disease, make good mother and very much capable of adapting even to very difficult climatic conditions. In regard to being a rich source of meat, an adult Boer buck can attain a weight of 240 and 300 pounds, while an adult doe can reach the weight of 200 and 225 pounds. However, the ability to meet the nutritional needs of the goats is one of the primary determinants of its eventual yield.
So what are the best practises for boosting the yield of the Boer goat? First and foremost, you need to have a carefully planned forage program in place. Such option can help to boot the growth as well as performance of the goat as it can help to control internal parasites and also improve pasture production. It is also possible to boost the nutritional levels of the goats’ daily intake through supplemental grazing in wheat pastures, stubble fields and winter rye. Thirdly, Boar goats don’t require maximum shelter.
Thus, wind break and natural shade are enough, unless you are planning to deal with cold windy weather. As a farmer, you should also have a preventive health program in place, so as to be able to deal with internal parasite control, which incidentally is one of the main health issues affecting Boar goats. When in doubt, you must endeavour to consult your veterinarian. Lastly, you have to take note of the topographical and climatic conditions as well as grazing materials of the area.
4. Can Boer goats be cross-bred with other goat breeds? If yes, what are the benefits of cross-breeding?
Of course, it is highly possible to cross-breed Boer goats with other goat breeds. However, it is important to note that majority of farmers prefer pure breeding of this variety of goat. Nevertheless, crossbreeding Boer goat with other breeds lead to the production of kids that are of higher quality and therefore more productive.
In most cases, such crossbreds are better than purebreds due to a genetic phenomenon known as heterosis. Heterosis makes it possible to obtain desirable traits like fitness, heritability and reproductive efficiency through crossbreeding. However, lack of predictability and consistency is among the demerits of crossbreeding.
5. What are the most profitable ages to buy and sell Boer goats?
The growth rates of Boer goats are considerably higher than of other breed of goats. This is one of the major reasons, why is generally recommended to breed by weight rather than age. After attaining one year of age, a typical Boer buck will weigh between 50 kg and 70 kg.
At that same age, the weight of a typical doe will be between 45 kg and 65 kg. But adult Boer bucks and does are recognized as having matured fully, once they attain the weights of 100-135 kg and 75-100 kg respectively. This is the most profitable time to sell them off.
6. What are the features that identify the best Boer bucks, and at what age are those features prominent?
The Boer goats are reputedly known as the world’s largest sized meat goat. This global recognition is partly due to its massive frame and double muscled. Furthermore, it has an extremely fast growth rate, which is further complimented by exceptional carcass qualities. They are also highly resistant to diseases, and have the ability to adapt to any environment.
But the most obvious feature that is used to recognize the best Boer bucks is the weight. Most matured and well-fed Boer bucks weigh between 100kg and 135 kg. Additional emphases are on well muscled body, overall conformation, red markings on the head and high fertility rate.
7. How can I tell if the Boer goats I’m planning to buy are 100% full blood buck and full blood does?
If you want to establish your own Boer herd, the ideal size to begin with is I buck and 25 does. Most prospective farmers are always advised to obtain their stock from well-known and trusted breeder or seller. The essence is to get yourself familiarize yourself with the history of the animal. But how do you know if the so-called trusted breeder or seller is actually giving you a 100% full blood bucks and does?
Well, it is still possible to find out. All you have to do is to carry out a test on your own. First and foremost, you have to inspect you goats before making any payment. It is essential to visit the farm and verify their health and living condition. The next step is to verify if you are buying the correct breed. In that case, you have to look out for these characteristic physical features:
- Most Boer goats come with distinctive white bodies and brown heads. But there are also some that are entirely brown or white coloured.
- Boer goats have long, pendulous ears that quite similar to those of the Nubian goats.
- Physically, they look very hardy, which explains their ability to survive in nearly all climatic condition.
- Their fertility and growth rates are quite high.
- Boer goats are generally docile, with the does having great mothering skills that supersede other breeds.
- An adult Boer buck that fully matured can weigh between 100 and 135 kg, while the doe can weigh between 75 to 100 kg.
8. What kind of health testing is done on goats?
It is quite unfortunate that many farmers rarely get their goat tested, until the outbreak of some diseases. For such farmers, mandatory regular testing is not necessary. Such conception is actually appalling. Regular heath testing is very essential, irrespective of the type of type of goat you are breeding, or the obvious state of their health. Such testing should always be conducted at least once every year.
So what is the exact type of health testing that needs to be done on your goats? Well, that simple a laboratory test involving the blood samples of your goats. You can either invite the veterinarian to come to your farm and collect blood samples from your herds or you can do that on your own and send the samples to the lab for testing. The main test will be for Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE). Other test that can be conducted on your samples include: Brucellosis, Johne’s, Tuberculosis (TB) and Caseous Lymphoma.
9. What kinds of animals make good companions for Boer goats?
Boer goats are highly social, intelligent and inquisitive animals. This is the major reason why they enjoy being together as members of the same herd. If you separate any of the animals from its herds, it is likely to make lots of terrible noises.
When it comes to looking for good companions for your Boer goats, members of the same herd are the most suitable and ideal options. But some other animals of different species that can make good companion for Boer goats include dogs and llama. Many farmers are known to use these animals to guide their livestock.
10. Is it possible to successfully raise Boer goats along with dairy goats?
Boer goats are specifically reared for meat production. If you truly want to make money from this purpose, you must have enough grazing lands. Furthermore, you must be very much ready to supplement your goats’ feeding during bad weather. You can’t earn much from meat production by restricting your herd to less than 100 acres.
This is because, Boer like every other meat goats cannot tolerate overcrowding and its consequent stress, both of which can cause them to lose weight drastically. The requirements for rearing goat meat are quite different from that of dairy. Thus, why it may possible to raise the two together, it is still not advisable as such approach may limit your ability to make huge money.
11. Do Boer goats get along with sheep?
The Boer goats have quite similar physiological and physical features with the sheep. Thus, it is quite possible to rear the two together. However, before you ever proceed with this plan, there is one important factor you must consider, which is the difference between their nutritional needs. Nearly all aspects of feeding and nutritional requirements for the two are quite similar except the copper supplement. While, copper supplement is essential for goat, it is potentially toxic to the sheep and can be even fatal over time.
So if you want to rear Boer goats and sheep together, you need to work around this difference. There are two ways to do this, you can either fed both species feed that lack copper supplement or keep them together and feed them separately during mealtime. Secondly, if you plan to raise the goats and sheep together, you must poll the sheep and disbud the goats. Thirdly, you also have to take note of the fact that unlike goats, sheep are more of grazers. Once you have taken care of these differences, you can then proceed.
12. What is the best grass and legumes to grow on pastures for sustainability and nutrition?
Boer goats are more of browsers than grazers. This implies that they prefer tasty hay, tender tips of trees or shrubs, and fresh green grasses. Boer goats, like most other breeds, tend to be picky, but can feed on anything that is edible. However, they mostly prefer alfalfa hay as their primary meal source and merely nibble at grasses. But if the grasses are the only source of nutrition, they will have no other option than to chomp on it, but that will be after much bleating.
In order to make sure you goats remain healthy and well-fed, it is very imperative to provide mixture of grasses and legumes, so as to meet up with their nutritional needs. The best legumes to grow on pasture for nutrition and sustainability are alfalfa, clover, soybean, peanut, trefoil, lespedeza, while the grasses include bahiagrass, bromegrass, fescue, millet, ryegrass and timothy grass.
13. What is the best feed for Boer goats? What is the best way to feed them?
The most economical and yet most healthy way of feeding Boer goats is to provide lots of high quality pasture. Manufactured feed should only be used during droughts and winter, when pastures tend to be in short supply. The regular browsing of the goat can be augmented with grains and hay, especially during winter.
However, it is important to note that grains are primarily used to increase the goat’s weight within a short period of time, especially prior to their selling. So when you are merely augmenting the goats’ browsing with grains, you have to be careful not to overfed them, as that will likely trigger formulation of fats around their organs. On the other hand, the inclusion of hays increases variation to fresh plants, which can help to reduce germs and bacteria, that can thrive in the leaves’ moisture, but not on dry leaves.
Thus, the use of hay helps to mitigate infection and disease outbreaks among a herd. Lastly, you can take care of the mineral or nutrient shortage in the plants or soil by adding supplements, including medicated ones to the goat feed. However, it is important to note that including too much phosphorous, relative to the calcium, can lead to renal calculi in the goats.
14. What type of fencing do they need?
There are different types of fence you can use to secure your herds of goats. There are fences that can be built with ten strands of barb wire. It is also possible to convert old cattle fence by adding more strands of barb wire and placing 47 inch high field web wire on them. But these fences that consist of strands or barbs of wires aren’t effective in keeping off predators or holding small kids in place. To overcome these challenges, you have to use forty eight inch high goat web wire with four inch by four inch mesh.
You also have to include three strands of web wire above this, with each of the strands having a space of three to four inches apart. Even though they are quite expensive, this type of fence is quite effective in keeping predators away and securing pastures for weaning kids. Another suitable option is the high-tensile electric fence. It is quite a nice choice for goats and looks more like a smooth wire strung tight. Moreover, it is considerably easy and cheaper to construct, and yet has a long life span.
Once you have your fences ready, you should avoid keeping adults bucks on the two sides of a fence, as they will definitely fight through it, and probably got it destroyed in the process. Instead, put them on one side. Of course, they will still fight, but that should be for a short period of time. The essence of such fight is to determine the pecking order, after which all bucks will start getting along. The same behaviours will also exhibited by does that haven’t been together before. When constructing your fence, you must avoid making use of web wire that comes with a six inch by six inch mesh, so as to avoid getting your goats’ horned stuck repeatedly. The most suitable option is the six by twelve inch mesh. The goats can always free their heads, whenever they got stuck.
15. How can I keep the Boer goats healthy in a very grassy pasture?
As already pointed out, the most economical and yet most healthy way of feeding Boer goats is to provide lots of high quality pasture. In order to keep you Boer goats healthy in your grassy pasture, you have to fence the pasture area and also include a reputable shelter and feeding area for them. The pasture area shouldn’t be so extensive, but must be large enough to ensure adequate exercises and enough grazing areas for the goats. Regular exercise is essential for goat’s health, as well as the quality of the meat. Apart from providing enough space, you can also exercise the goats by moving them from one pasture to another. Lastly, you have to subject the goats to regular health maintenance programs. These should include coat grooming, de-worming, hoof care and vaccinations.
16. What are the best practices for raising healthy Boer goats?
One of the best practices for raising healthy Boer goats is to establish a carefully planned pastureland in your farm, which will have legumes like alfalfa, clover, soybean, peanut, trefoil, lespedeza as well as grasses like bahiagrass, bromegrass, fescue, millet, ryegrass and timothy grass. In addition to boosting the growth and performance of the goat, this approach can also help to control internal parasites and increase the nutritional levels of the goats’ daily intake. You should also endeavour to take care of the mineral or nutrient shortage in the plants or soil by adding supplements to the goats’ feed. This will help to enhance their growth. Always keep a water pot filled with clean and fresh water in front of the goat.
Another important practice is to establish a preventive health program for dealing with internal parasite control. This will also include conducting regular laboratory test on your herds. Through this way, you will be able to protect your herds from disease outbreaks. The Boer kids should also be given adequate care as well as vaccination, in order to protect them from viruses and diseases. Lastly, you should always ensure the goat’s housing is dry, and absolutely free from insects and worms.
17. What are the biggest health problems with Boer goats?
One notable health related issue is the inability of Boer goats to develop immunity to parasites that have already been withstood by other breeds of goats. This is because; the Boer goats are originally bred to thrive in the relatively dry climate of South Africa.
Coincidentally, most parasites find it quite difficult to survive dry climate. Thus, rearing Boer goats in wetter regions makes them more susceptible to some infections, including worm infection of the lungs, liver and digestive tracks as well as barberpole worm (the blood-sucking stomach worm).
Furthermore, Boer goats are specifically vulnerable to hoof infections and problems, which can cause some difficulties in walking, and even lameness in some cases. One of the most reliable ways to protect your Boer herds against these health issues is by keeping the environment clean. Another way to avoid this problem is by avoiding overcrowding of the heard.
18. What are the land requirements for Boer goats?
In other to obtain the best possible result, it is very important to allocate enough space for your herds of Boer goats. As already pointed out, regular exercise is necessary for good health as well as quality of meat that can be obtained from your herds.
Of course, you can obtain such result, when your heard doesn’t have enough space. Each goat requires a minimum of 250 sq ft of space. So an estimation of the area of your proposed pasture land should be base on this simple formula. So if you are planning to start your business with 10 goats, then you should be planning a minimum of 2,500 sq ft of space for them.
19. What are some best practices for caring for Boer goats?
The only needs of the Boer goats are high quality food and shelter, every other thing is just maintenance. Thus, for you to obtain the best possible result, you really have to show adequate care for your goats. First and foremost, you have to offer enough healthcares to your herds. The best results can only be obtained, if the herds are de-wormed regularly, with their hooves trimmed in a timely fashion. Secondly, your goats must have access to proper housing and automatic floats for water, during hot seasons. The houses should be spacious and sited in high places, and free from worms.
Always ensure your goats have access to high quality green pastures as well as clean clear water. It is a bad idea to rely solely on manufactured feeds for fulfilling the nutritional requirements of your herds. You will never obtain the best result by depending entirely on manufactured feeds for your goats. However, you can supplement their daily dietary intake with hays and grains. Avoid breeding Boer goats that are too young. The ideal breeding age is about 1 year for the doe. Also, when breeding your goats, you should endeavour to base your selection base on traits like bigger size and built. Try and avoid self-medication, but if you must administer any medications, ensure to go through the labels and identify the side effects. However it is always better to seek the service of an experienced and qualified veterinarian.
You should also proffer adequate care for the newly born Boer kids. The kids must be located in a separate room with its mother and must be feed with its mother’s milk regularly. In addition to vaccinating the kids, you should also set up a daily schedule to take care of the new kids and their mother.
20. What are the climate requirements for Boer goats? Are they suited to any climate?
The Boer goat was originally bred for hot, dry climate. However, the subsequent introduction of the breed to several parts of the world has revealed its ability to adapt to different climatic conditions. Thus, they have been reared successfully in cold countries, including Canada.
In fact, real practical experience has indicated that these goats aren’t bothered by wintry weather, as they can still roam outside during such weather condition. However, rainy wintry conditions are not good for the goats, as they don’t have adequate fatty layer below their skin, which makes them highly susceptible to pneumonia. Therefore, hot and dry climate remains the ideal climatic requirements for Boer goats.
21. Are there any tips or tricks to make things safe but less expensive in order to operate efficiently?
In order to remain competitive and ensure sustainable growth of your farming business, it is imperative to master some skills and tricks. These have to do with proper care as well as management of your herd. First and foremost, you can minimize operational costs by relying primarily on pasture for your goats’ main feed.
This will not only help ensure a healthy growth of your herd, but will also help to cut down your expenses on the goats’ feed. Secondly, you can establish your farm near villages, so as to ensure unrestricted access to cheap labour. Lastly, always take note of the health conditions of all your goats. This will help you to avoid any potential disease outbreak on your farm.
22. What are the best practices for marketing Boer goats?
Two major ways to market your Boer goat is to either transport them for auctions or sold them individually to consumers and food outlets. The auction method requires little effort, as you don’t have to bother looking for a suitable buyer. However, you won’t be able to exert any considerable control over the price, which of course is a huge disadvantage for you as it will make you vulnerable to financially risky exchange.
To minimize these risks, you can communicate with other farmers and marketers to know recent prices, as well as whether buyers need to be present during an auction. Such contact enables you to get familiar with current projections on market demand. Another strategy to use in mitigating risks associated with auction is to go for bigger regional auctions, which are known to support several buyers at once. Many of such auctions publish average prices on their marketing publications, as well as online platforms.
The second option, which is on farm sales, enables you to bypass sales commissions as well as the costs and risks you can incur when transporting your animals to the market. However, you have to bear all the risk associated with marketing. Furthermore, the process will also require more of your time. Nevertheless, this option enables you to take advantage of local ethnic markets, but you must be ready for the buyers’ bargain.
On-farm processing also enables the farmer to increase the value of the animal by producing by-products like hides and horns. However, value-added marketing requires additional time. Consistency in delivering high quality is another marketing tip, which is particularly essential in developing your sales base. In a nutshell, consistency of products and high quality are important for successful marketing of your products.
23. What age should Boer bucks be sold?
To obtain the best price for your Boer bucks, it is very important to know the right time to sell them. You should allow your bucks to attain more than one year of age before marching them to the market. At this age, they are most likely to have reached their optima weight and market value.
24. What are the ethnicities that eat the goat meat?
Goat meat is a popular delicacy among several ethnicities, particularly Americans and Canadians of South-eastern Asia, Middle Eastern, African, Eastern European, Mediterranean and Hispanic origin. Additionally, more and more individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the healthier nature of the goat’s lean and high-protein meat. Thus, the demand is relatively on the increase, but local farmers in North American are currently unable to meet these high demands. Thus, large quantities are being imported primarily from Canada.
One common delicacy among the Hispanics is the Cabrito, which is the tender flesh of 10-12 pound, milk-fed kids. Furthermore, many Muslim families prefer goat meat, which incidentally is the main stay of some Islamic feasts like Id al-Adha, Id al-Fitr, Ramadan as well as Islamic weddings and family celebrations. Americans and Canadians of Caribbean descents also need goat meat for preparing their curries and jerked dishes, while Jews require milk-fed kids for Hanukkah and Passover. The exact dates for these ethnic holidays can be obtained from normal official calendars or by conducting a simple search on the internet.
25. What are the most effective and profitable methods to utilize in raising Boer kids for market?
The first few weeks after birth are crucial for the survival of the Boer kids. If you fail to provide adequate care for the kids, then you can potentially lose up to 50% of them. So how do you go about the process of taking care of them? First and foremost, you have to make sure the kids obtain adequate milk from their mothers. To achieve this important objective, you have to set up daily schedule for sufficient care of the new kids and their mother.
Secondly, try and vaccinate the kids so as to prevent them from getting infections and viruses. After three months of milk feeding, the kids will be ready for weaning. The kids may not be able to put on weight, after 10 days of the post weaning. In other to ensure they get the desired weight, you have to give me them a ‘creep feed’ after they must have attained three weeks of age. Of course, you must also ensure they will have enough pastureland three months after weaning.
26. How can I raise Boer goats profitably on a small acreage?
When it comes to rearing of Boer goats, a large area of land is essential for the best result. Indeed, Boer goats need enough space for a healthy and optimal growth. Unlike beef cattle and sheep, it is not productive to rear Boer goats in feedlots. They won’t put on the desired weight necessary for the best market value. One single acre of land shouldn’t hold more than four goats.
You may even require more space, if you are dealing with four fully grown Boer goats. This will help ensure they have plenty of space for exercise and lots of land for grazing. So if you have a small space, but still desire to rear Boer goats, then the only logical option is to start with the right number that will be suitable for the available space.
27. What kind of shelter do Boer goats need?
Generally, goat housing can be kept quite simple and the Boer goats are no exception. The most important thing is to always make sure that whatever shelters you have for your goats are dry, clean and free from both drafts and worms. If you want to rear your goats in mild climates, then a three-sided structure, windbreaks, or pole barn with a roof should be enough. Even a hoop house can serve that purpose. But if you are going to rear your animals in cold wet regions, then you will need solid structures.
Additionally, you must endeavour to have small stalls that can serve as your herd’s labour room as well as the isolation center for sick or injured goats. The floor of the shelter should be covered with thick layer of bedding, which could either be waste hay, straw and wood shavings (don’t use cedar). You can save lots of money by making use of the hays, as goats tends to waste up to one-third of it. But you must make sure the goats’ beddings are always clean and dry.
They also have to be changed regularly. The interior part of the building can be split into separate pens for each group of does and kids. Also ensure each goat has up to 15-20 square feet for sleeping. Lastly, it is also necessary to reserve a shady area for your herd, during the hot summer months.
28. How much does it cost to get started in Boer goats?
Generally, rearing of Boer goats doesn’t require much equipment or machinery. Nevertheless, there are essential structures and things you need to have before proceeding with the venture. First and foremost, you need to have a housing structure that will help protect the goats from the rain, snow and cold. A typical 75-by 120-foot pole barn that has two enclosed walls, a feeding area, bedding materials and separate pens for kids can cost $24,000, while a 15 by 10 feet shelter for bucks can cost $13,000. The materials for constructing the storage facility can cost about $10,250.
Another important structure is the fence. This will help to prevent the goats from wandering off as well as protecting them from predators and unfriendly animals like goats. It will cost between $1, 179 to $1, 1850 to secure a normal residential compound with electric fence. You can use this figure to determine the rough estimate for you farm. Another important factor is the pasture land itself. As already stated severally, pasture is very essential for the healthy and optimal growth of goats. Thus, you also need to have it as one of the important facility to have, before setting up your goat rearing business. One acre of farmland can cost about $3, 080.
Additionally, you will also need feeders for your goats. This is really necessary. Many farmers make the horrible mistake of feeding their goats on the ground. But unfortunately, such approach can lead to substantial food wastage as well as spread of diseases and internal parasites. Feeding one goat may cost $15-20/month. You will also need a feed storage system for stockpiling all sorts of goats’ feed including grains, hays, trace mineral salts etc.
The essence is to protect the feeds from pests, rodents and even the goats. The use of feed storage help ensures the availability of feed all year round and also enables you to minimize operational cost by buying goats’ feed in bulk and storing them up as well as preventing the deterioration of the hay quality.
You will also need handling equipments. These are basic tools required for carrying out some routine management tasks like drenching, catching, loading, sorting, vaccinating, de-worming, weighing, hoof trimming and loading. If you don’t have the tools necessary for a successful execution of these tasks, these jobs will get delayed and eventually overlooked. Some of these simple tools and prices are indicated as follows; drench gun, hoof trimmer, thermometer and scale, which cost $26.95, $270, $24.86 and $135 respectively.
During winter, the water you kept for your herds may get frozen. In that case, you will need a warmer for heating up the water, and preventing them from freezing. You can get a simple warmer for $44.95. Heat lamps are also required, as they are necessary for providing warmth for sick animals and kids and each can cost as low as $38.
You will also need the mucking supplies for your farms. These are equipments necessary for retaining the freshness of the beddings. They include wheel barrow, boots, and gloves, which can cost; $154.49, $31.29 and $15.59 respectively.
Lastly, you may also need identification equipment for your herds. The specific type of equipment depends exclusively on the identification method you want to use on your goats. Some of these methods include the use of microchip, tags, notching and tattooing.
29. How can I find cheap Boer goats to get started?
Boer goat embryos were first introduced to Canada in 1992 by a group of entrepreneurs. The breed immediately became popular, and by November 27, 1993, an organization known as the Canadian Boer Goat Association was formed. Its major objective was to protect the integrity of the Canadian Boer goat pedigrees. This body, which is today known as Canadian Meat Goat Association, has historically been involved in the sales of pure breed of Boer goats. Apart from being the first place to check for your Boer goats, the Canadian Meat Goat Association is also involved in the development of marketing and educational tools for both purebred seed stock producers and commercial meat goat. Another option is to find the nearest licensed auction market. You can get real cheap Boer goats from such auction sales.
30. What grants are available for goat farmers?
There is variety of funding programs that are available for Canadian farmers. The best way to locate the most suitable option for you as a farmer and business man is to make use of an online finder tool. The most popular one is Funding Finder.
31. What is the best number of bucks and does to start with for a complete beginner?
The best number of bucks and does to start with your goat business is primarily determined by the space you have for them. However, as a complete beginner, it is advisable to start small and then grow your herd slowly. This will enable you to build pens and establish more grazing space as you go along. This approach will help you to avoid investing all you savings on the start –up. It will also help to prevent you from buying too much goats, just to resell them after some time.
As a complete beginner, it is highly advisable to start your goat business with just one buck and few does. Some of the does may likely produce a pair of offspring within a year. So if you start with four females, you may end up having twelve after one year. Such method of breeding will also help you to get accustomed to the goats, thereby finding them easier to handle as the number increases. But once the nannies let go their first offspring, you have to bring in another Buck, so as to avoid inbreeding.
32. What are the physical requirements for raising Boer goats? In other words, can a farmer be too old to raise Boer goats?
Rearing of goats is generally physically demanding. Boer goats are no exception, despite their docile and gentle nature. But what exactly makes it quite physically demanding? Well, even though it is recommendable to depend mainly on pasture for your goats’ feeding, you will still need manufactured feed, especially during winter. The fact that Boer goats eat a large volume of food means that you have to deal with the task of handling huge bales of hays or 50-pound bags of alfalfa pellets.
As well, some determination and strength is required for trimming the hooves of your animals. In fact, a herd of goats require more than 40 minutes of work per day. The number can be substantially more when you are dealing with larger herds. Indeed, taking care of Boer goats requires intense physical activity that is actually beyond that of an old farmer.