What are the Objectives for your Boer Goat Herd?
If you take a trip and don't know where you are going,
how will you know when you get there?
You must clearly understand why you are raising your animals. Look at our article about the different Categories of the Boer Goat industry. You may be focusing on several different categories but you must evaluate specific animals against only one category. One animal cannot have two primary objectives. If your primary focus for certain animals is on show quality, they cannot also have a primary focus on breeding quality. Many South African breeders have told us "A winning show animal is not always the best breeding animal". You can always have a secondary objective for animals but you have to know what is the primary objective to help identify what features are more important than other features.
I have had one of the best known US breeders and judge tell me "You can't break down an animal into individual features for evaluation. You have to look at the overall animal". Yet after saying this, he will review the winners at a show by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each animals individual features." This breeder/judge is subconsciously looking at these individual features and summarizing them in his mind. You have to realize that different features have different importance in different categories. It is also important to understand that different features will distract or complement primary features.
We break down the features into different categories that can have different weights associated with them for helping evaluate the animals. The features for these categories will be identified with more detail later.
Categories for Evaluation
Our farm has the following objectives:
Top quality breeding animals that MAY qualify for showing. We focus more on ensuring the animals can produce quality kids than having all of the cosmetic features that do not add value in producing meaty, fast growing, healthy kids. Our does must be able to wean kids at 3 months old with a combined weight around the weight of the doe. For example, if a doe weighs 140 lbs., she should have a total kids weight of around 140 lbs at 3 months old. A 140 lb. doe weaning 140 lbs of kids is 100% efficient (140 kids wt./140 doe wt.) We will give first time mothers a break since they are more likely to have a single kid but the single should have a weaning weight around 1/2 the mother's weight...50% = 70lb./140lb. We focus on meaty rear-end, long, wide and deep body with heavy bone structure.
Top quality show wethers with good breeding percentage does as a secondary. We focus on percentage does that will produce buck kids that fit the criteria for top show wethers. If a doe produces top show wethers, the doe kids will be considered for adding to our herd or selling as a premium percentage doe. We expect show wethers to be 60 to 80 lbs at 3 months weaning and around 100 lbs at 6 months old. We focus on meaty rear-end, long, wide and deep body with heavy bone structure.