Characteristics & Priorities
It is important for a breeder to know what type of an animal they want to breed for and what would be the characteristics that would make up that ideal animal. Forget about the stupid statement that you always hear breeders and judges make - "The perfect buck/doe has never been born". It is a stupid statement because the breeders can't agreeon exactly what would make up the perfect animal or draw a picture of it. What is perfect for one person, may not be acceptable at all for another breeder. The Boer Associations all have their own standards documented but they certainly don't list all of the important characteristics or tell you which ones are more important than others.
You have to be able to make some tough decisions related to the importance of different characteristics according to some target/goal you have set for your breeding program. Here are some characteristics that are very important but are not listed in the standards.
These are not things that will be considered in the show ring because you just can't see them at a specific time. Nor can you see these characteristics when you attend a production sale. These characteristics can only be observed over a period of time and should be documented to gain a history of these characteristics for each of your breeding animals.
We are creating a form to document several of these specific characteristics that we observe in our animals and then also list all illnesses and problems for each animal. This helps us each year decide which animals to keep or add to our breeding herd. The specific characteristics we are observing and their priorities are:
According to the importance of the listed characteristics, you need to consider what you are willing to overlook in order to have that special feature. Some of these characteristics become even more important if you can see it is being passed on to the kids. Here is an example of our list for Parasite Resistant
When we are evaluating our animals each year, we can't say an animal will not stay or be added to our breeding herd just because they did not have the first priority. Finding parasite resistant animals will likely be hard to do. We will be looking at which animals have multiple of the lower priority characteristics and then animals that have done better in the lower priority characteristics than other animals in our herd. Every year, we want our herd improving in one or more of these characteristics.