Are Animals with Show Wins and Ennoblements the Best Answer?
We have purchased Boers for many years that had pedigrees loaded with Ennoblements and show winning genetics. We ended up being disappointed in the kids that many of them produced. Someone could say we just did not have the right quality of breeding partner. We have bred some of them with National Grand Champions or purchased does already bred to "well known" bucks and had the same experience.
A few years ago, we exported several bucks out of the USA. Some were "well known" genetics and some were from lines of our own breedings. The breeder contacted us later and made a comment that they wanted to purchase more animals next year but wanted to focus more on our own genetics because they seemed to do better. We have had the same experiences. We have had some animals produce offspring that were more hardy and grew faster than some of the "well known" genetics we bought. The problem is that many potential buyers are looking for animals that have pedigrees full of Ennoblements and show winning genetics.
Here are some of the problems we have seen with some "well known" genetics we have purchased.
One doe's pelvic bones could not open wide enough to deliver her kids and she died. (many of the well known genetics sold actually came from a recip rather than the real mother. That hides any problems the real mother's genetics may have.)
Does that had such small udders after kidding that it was all they could do to raise one kid. (See recip issue above)
We purchased a doe at a major production sale and later learned the breeder had removed extra teats so she looked like she only had 1/1. It caused problems when the doe kidded and the areas where the teats were removed now had bulges protruding in the udder wall. (people wanted does with 1/1 teats so the breeder provided that clean teat look artificially)
Some animals have more health issues when they are put out to live in a pasture rather than being pampered to maintain show quality looks.
The offspring were just not the quality of kids we expected.
Some well known breeders have been removed from the Boer associations because they were falsifying the pedigrees of some animals in order to get other animals Ennobled.
Horns on the bucks that are constantly getting other animals legs caught between the horns and potentially harming the legs.
Adding extra weight before a show or production sale. (We were told last year that a well known buck had to lose at least 60 lbs before he could do the planned breedings because he was so heavy from showing. A friend of ours was showing a 5 month old buck in the 3-6 month class and the judge said he needed more weight. He weighed 138 lbs at 5 months old. That is stupid to expect more weight at that age. A distributor of show feeds told us about a supplement they sold that, if given to the goat prior to the show, would cause gas and make the animal look like it was more filled out and heavier for a short period of time. We are not going to focus on purchasing animals that have had their looks adjusted through excessive feed or special supplements just to win show points/Ennoblements or will look better at a production sale.)
We have been moving more to a breeding goal of "Identify the genetics that produce hardy offspring that grow well and meet the characteristics we desire without any focus on having pedigrees full of Ennoblements." We have documented some of the characteristics we do and do not like that show judges have been focusing on. We have a new red buck that we will be one of our main breeding buck for producing red and paint genetics and he does not have one Ennoblement in his pedigree. That is because we have not had a focus on showing and ALL of the animals in his pedigree were born and raised on our farm and we understand what to expect from the genetics without having a judge tell us they are good or bad. We also do not have the expenses of buying high priced animals to flush, paying a flush fee for a "well known" buck, doing flushes and going to shows trying to win points.
Here are some of the things we are doing to help us and our potential buyers better understand our Boers rather than just how many Ennoblements are in their pedigree and how well their genetics did in the show ring.
Every breeding doe has a specific page of her info. It tells how she came to be on our farm, shows her pedigree and pictures of some of her kids if she has kidded before.
Every breeding doe page will have a picture of her udder at the time of kidding or right after the kidding to show if she will be able to have multiple kids nurse over a three month period. This indicates her ability to raise 2, 3, or 4 kids and can give a breeder an indication as to what a doe kid would likely have.
We check the teat structure on all does, sires and offspring in order to better understand what the teat structures are likely to be in the future. It is also an indication to determine if a breeding doe should be culled or remain in our breeding program. (see Teat Study)
We have some nice looking pedigrees in our breeding herd and as long as we get good results, we will continue to use the genetics. But we will no longer have a major focus on having "well known" genetics just to better market our Boers. We will be focusing on producing what we like to see in our herd and looking for more enjoyment in the future rather than disappointments. We don't think Ennoblements in the pedigree and show winning genetics are always the best strategy and they certainly have not given us the most enjoyment in the kids produced.