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Weighting the Evaluation Features of Boer Goats

Below is a table of the evaluation categories  compared to the animal features. Remember, this is our perspective on these and not an agreed to standard within the Meat Goat Industry. We have listed  the main features that people evaluate and we identify, from our perspective, the relative weight of each feature to the different categories. All of the features can be considered for show quality therefore we only identify the features that are more show oriented than adding value to the other categories. The weighting values are:


Features

Capacity for Meat and Quality Hide

Capability for Long Efficient Life

Ability to Breed and Raise Kids Efficiently

Primary Show Quality Feature

Back


High



Bloodlines

High




Body depth

High


High


Body length

High




Body width

High




Chest

Medium




Color




Medium

Ears


Low



Forequarter

High




Hair

Medium




Head

Medium



High

Heart Girth


High



Hindquarters

High




Horns


Medium


Medium

Kids Weaning Wt. at Weaning Age

High




Legs


High



Mouth


High



Muscle

High




Neck

Medium



High

Nostrils


Medium



Pasterns


High



Rump

High




Rump Slope

Medium

Medium

Medium


Rump Twist

High




Scrotum



Medium

Medium

Shoulders

Medium

High



Skin Pigment


Medium


High

Tail


Medium



Teats



Medium

Medium to High

Testicles



Medium


Udder



High


Feature

Description

Back

The back should be straight and not bowing down. It is a "long life" feature because the animal needs the strength to carry the weight without breaking down. We will not accept a sway back animal. As the animal gets older, the back may start to sway and that is to be expected.

Bloodlines

The bloodlines of animals are important to us in evaluating them. We look for bloodlines that have proven they produce animals with capability of large amounts of meat. The bloodlines normally become well known through show records. However it is more important for us to find an animal that has produced a large bodied winner than just being a winner. An example is Top Gun No 2. which never won any shows but has produced many large bodied show winners. There are several show winners that have not produced animals similar to their self.

Body depth

The depth of the body is important in two ways. First it allows more capacity for meat in the body. Second, in a doe, it allows more capacity for holding kids before birth. It is especially important that there be depth in the back half for does. This is a wedge shape and is a good sign in does. We will not accept an animal with a very shallow depth.

Body length

The longer an animal is, the more capability for meat. We will draw and imaginary box around the body and feet of an animal. If the box looks like a square, the animal is not considered long. If the box looks like a rectangle, the animal has length. We will also check to see if there is as much length in the ribs as in the loin area. We will watch the strength of the back as the animal gets longer to ensure the length is not overrunning the capability of the back. An animal has to have average length. We will not accept a short or boxy animal.

Body width

Body width is very important to us. The front and rear should show good width between the front legs and the back legs. This allows more meat capacity on the animal. We will not accept a narrow body on an animal.

Chest

The chest should be wide and meaty. It complements the body width feature. An animal can be wide but not have a meaty chest.

Color

This can be the color of the head, the body, how far the color goes, how pure, etc. This does not add any value other than in shows.

Ears

The ears help the animal expand heat from their body. If the ears are folded vertically, it is potential a feature passed on and will hurt you in shows. Some medical problems may occur from vertically folded ears.

Forequarter

A strong, muscled forequarter adds additional meat to the body. This is a strong plus for us if meaty and muscled. It is a negative if it is bony.

Hair

Fine hair is a good indication that the hide will be of good quality. Longer hair will allow things to get caught in it and cause potential health problems.

Head

The shape of the head and the curve of the nose is a show quality issue. A rule of thumb about the width of the head indicates how wide kids may be in the future. The wider the head, the wider the animal will be. We will consider the width of the head. The roman nose does not have any value other than show.

Heart Girth

A narrow heart girth is an indication of potential health problems because it is minimizing the amount of space available of the heart and other organs. We will not accept an animal with a narrow heart girth.

Hindquarters

This is the most important feature for us at this time. An animal must have a good meaty and wide hindquarters. It is the most difficult meat to add to an animal and therefore we do not want to purchase any animal that does not already have a decent hind quarter.

Horns

Horns that are close together at the base are a potential hazard to other animals in your herd. An animal with narrow horns can get another animal's leg caught between them and break it. We will not accept an animal with narrow horns. The shape of the horns are a big show factor.

Kids Weaning Wt. at Weaning Age

Does that we already own must be able to produce at least twins and have a good combined weaning weight. We look for the combined weaning weight to be close to  the mother's weight.

Legs

We look for strong, straight and big boned legs in the animals. This allows them to better move around in large pastures for finding food. The bigger an animal is the more weight the legs must carry. We will  not accept animals with thin bone legs.

Mouth

If an animal has a mouth where they waste food or cannot eat efficiently, this will be considered a big negative.

Muscle

The more body muscle and animal shows, the higher they are rated.

Neck

The neck can have a good amount of meat. For shows, they generally are looking for long, feminine necks on does.

Nostrils

The nostrils need to be wide to allow air input easy. Pinched nostrils may cause potential health problems

Pasterns

Weak pasterns can limit the ability of an animal to move around sufficiently to find food. As an animal gets olde, the pasterns may weaken. We will not accept a young animal with weak pasterns.

Rump Slope

A rump slope that drops off sharply reduces the amount of meat available but also indicates a doe may have problems kidding.

Rump Twist

The longer the twist, the more meat available. This complements the hindquarter feature. We always look for a long twist and will not accept animals with a short twist.

Scrotum

You do not want a scrotum that has a big split in it. The standards allow no more than 2 inch split. The more the split, the more skin around the testicles and that may cause additional heat and sterility. We try to have breeding bucks without splits.

Shoulders

This feature affects both the capability for meat and the length of productive life. Good meaty, muscled shoulders adds to the capacity for meat. Loose shoulders can impact the ability of the animal to efficiently move around the pastures looking for food. We will not accept an animal with loose shoulders. As an animal ages the shoulders will loosen.

Skin Pigment

Skin pigment that is pink does not protect the animal from skin cancer. We will accept animals with the skin having mostly dark pigment.

Tail

A tail that comes out of the rump at an angle to the left or right may have a problem with their spinal cord.

Teats

This is a feature that can complement or subtract from the overall evaluation. The most important question is "Can a new baby nurse from the teats?" If a new baby can not nurse from either of the teats, we will not accept them. If one teat may be a problem for a short time but they can nurse from the other one, we will consider the animal. We prefer four separate teats because of the ability of triplets to all nurse at the same time. The better the teats are shaped, the better the animal evaluation.

Testicles

You are looking for two large testicles of the same size. The smaller the testicles, the less semen they may produce. A buck with only one testicle dropped can still breed successfully but not to as many does.

Udder

We like to have does with an udder that is well attached to a a wide part of the body. An udder may go bad before the legs do, therefore the quality of the udder can be as  important is the legs.