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
Capacity for Producing Meat - All boer goats eventually have an objective of producing
goat meat if the industry is to grow and be meaningful. They cannot be ONLY a show
animal unless they are put into a pet category. The reason for showing is a marketing
approach of comparing different animals. Therefore it is a critical category to evaluate
the opportunity of an animal to carry a large amount of meat by a specific age. This
includes the total weaning weight of kids from a doe rather than just one single
heavy kid. This is our primary category. If they don't show the capacity of producing
a large amount of meat, we will reject the animal for our herd.
Capability for Long Productive Life - Once we find an animal with a good capacity
for producing meat, we want them to be able to survive and be able to make an efficient
living for a long time in order to get the maximum output from our investment in
Ability to Breed/Raise Kids Efficiently - After finding an animal that has the capacity
for producing large amounts of meat and has the capability for making an efficient
living for a long time, we want to ensure that the animal has the ability to breed
properly and raise the kids with minimum help.
Show Quality - If we can get all of the capability of the other categories and have
an animal with show qualities, that will be a big plus and be considered a premium
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.