Looking for the top Boer goat breeders? In this quick guide we give you some tips for finding Boer goats for sale, and what to consider when you're buying.
Demand for Goat Meat is Soaring
As of right now, the U.S. is not producing enough goat meat to satisfy demand. (Some estimates are that the U.S. imports 50% of its goat meat!) The USDA has determined that 750,000 goats would be needed to bridge the supply/demand gap.
Raising Boer Goats
After establishing the land, shelter, feed, and veterinary care needed, you’ll be ready to purchase goats. Before purchasing, it is wise to request veterinary records to prove basic soundness and freedom from disease for your first goats.
When starting your business, it’s best to start small, learn the basics, and then grow from there. Beginning small, with two does and a buck, will lower the initial capital required to start, and allow you to learn as you go. That number will grow quickly, and you will want to plan accordingly.
What is the Price Range to Buy a Boer Goat?
Starting out, a pedigreed buck can cost between $600 and $1000, some fetching far higher. A purebred doe is less expensive, usually starting out at $400.
The quality of kids relies heavily on the quality of the buck. If you are looking for high quality bucks and does, you need to avoid the sale barn.
What are Some Important Things to Look for When Buying Goats from a Breeder?
Before purchasing, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect the animal. You’ll also want to know the farmer’s worming schedule. Goats are prone to internal parasites and managing that issue can be challenging even for experienced goat farmers. Reviewing veterinary records or having a veterinarian evaluate the animal you wish to purchase can save in emotional stress and monetary loss.
If you’re interested in investing in only purebred stock, you will have to seek out a reputable breeder. Reputable Boer goat breeders keep records of the quantity and quality of kids the buck has produced. If you want to be certain of fertility, a veterinarian can perform a sperm check.
This would likely only be done for an especially high-dollar buck. You will need to have those Boer registration papers in hand before you purchase. You do not want to get in a situation where you have purchased on the promise of “registration papers to come”. You will also want to know how this animal has been treated. Where has it been kept?
What has it been eating? You want to ensure that the goat is not a “feed lot” goat, and that it had plenty of land to browse.
Three more things to keep in mind when evaluating a breeder:
1. Feeding and Grazing
Boer goat breeders give their herd enough land to roam and graze. The approximate ideal ratio is about 6-8 animals per acre. The goats typically eat plants that cows and sheep leave alone. So, if the breeder has a large variety of livestock, they can use the goats as a form of crop rotation, called control grazing. This involves moving the fences to lead the herd to new land and plants. The other animals can then graze on the land that the goats have left bare of weeds.
Goats may have more weeds to eat in the summer. During winter, goat breeders can feed the animals hay, or they can prepare by planting forage and browsing plants that grow in different seasons.
One common mistake goat breeders make is overestimating the similarities between goats and sheep. This is actually false. Goats and sheep require different minerals and medicine dosages. Even though there may be some mineral feed or vaccinations and medicine offered for both, it is important to use the correct dosage and brand for your goats.
Good breeders will keep the grazing area and animals clean to prevent sicknesses like foot rot or foot scald. They will make sure to implement vaccines early to prevent problems later on. Practiced breeders also know their herd, ensuring that they notice the first change in an animal’s habit, which may be a sign of disease or parasites.
Records serve two purposes. It helps the breeder keep track of their herd, to make sure which animals are doing well, which are ready for selling, and which still need to get shots. In case the breeder also wants to sell goats, buyers may want to see more information about the goat. This typically includes shots, vaccinations, medical history and reproductive history.
4. Buy goats in your local area. It’s good to purchase Boer goats locally for two reasons:
- Similar climate and soil conditions make it easier for the goats to adjust
- The breeders are easy to reach in case you need help or have questions
Where Do I Find a Boer Goat Breeder?
A quick online search can help you find goat breeders that are in your area: