Breeding Boer Goats – Tips for Success

Call me biased, if you will, but I absolutely adore Boer goats. Without a doubt, they’re my favorite goat breed for their personality, ease of handling, and the like. However, it’s important to consider several crucial things before breeding Boer goats, and we’ve outlined some of these points today to help inform your decision. After all, Boer goat breeding is an incredibly exciting process, and there are lots of things you’ll need to consider as part of this decision to get the most from your new endeavor! Best of luck – if you can get it right, Boer goat breeding can be an incredibly valuable project.

Getting Started with Boer Goat Breeding

Before we go further, one of the first things we need to clarify is how to get started with Boer goat breeding. Breeding Boers is a rewarding experience, but in order to get started, you’ll need to define a few points. 

What’s your goal in breeding Boer goats? What sort of Boer goats do you aim to breed? When do you want to kid your Boer goats? How many Boers are you planning to breed per year? What management system do you use for your Boers? There’s no right or wrong answer, so it’s something to keep in mind.

Why Do You Want to Breed Boer Goats? 

One of the first things you should check when it comes to your Boer goats is why you want to breed them. In other words, what is your goal of breeding Boer goats? 

Personally, I absolutely love the Boer breed, and my main goal has always been to breed Boer goats that are tough, hardy, and commercially viable. Some other people aim to breed Boer goats for show, meat, or pet markets, and some just want the joy of breeding a few goats for their freezer. Whatever the case might be for you, working out why you want to breed Boer goats is a good option to help steer your new goals to the right path.

What Type of Boer Goats do You Want? 

Once you’ve decided on your main goals, you’ll next need to think about the type or color of Boer goats you want.

First of all, here, you’ll need to consider whether you want Boer purebreds, crossbreds, or fullbloods. Each has a slightly different definition and benefits, and of course, that’s a whole topic in its own right! However, it’s still important to consider the type of Boer you’re looking for here to give you a starting point.

You’ll also want to consider color. Before you can get started with breeding Boer goats, choosing a color (or lack of preference, as the case may be) can further help streamline your breeding goals. Depending on where you are in the world, Boers come in all sorts of colors, from traditional brown and white to reds, blacks, paints, and dappleds. As such, there’s a little something for everyone. Boer crossbreds may also have color traits from their non-Boer genetic heritage, which can further change their coloring.

When Do You Want to Kid Your Boer Goats? 

Now you’ve worked out what sort of Boer goats you want, you’ll want to consider very carefully when you want to kid your goats. As part of a successful breeding program, you should aim to choose a time that’s both practical and manageable. This depends on your unique circumstances. 

You should also always plan when you want to kid your Boers in advance; since Boers are aseasonal, they can get in kid (almost) all year round. Therefore, you have greater freedom over when you want to kid – but you’ll need to take the highs and the lows with this.

First, you should consider when you’ll be around. Boers are typically very good mothers and usually kid without assistance, but sometimes, you may need to help them. As such, ideally, you should aim to kid at a time when you’ll be able to get a vacation from your job – or when there are people who can keep an eye on your goats for you.

You should also consider the weather conditions. Kidding in the middle of summer may mean flies plague the newborn kids – not great for hygiene, and this can be incredibly frustrating for them. However, if you kid in winter, you’ll have to contend with potentially extreme cold weather.

Finally, be sure to consider feeding situations. Food availability typically fluctuates year round; if you kid in winter, you may need to feed your Boer does, but their kids could then be turned out to grass in spring. However, if you kid in the spring or summer, you may need to feed less forage, but the kids may not be ready for sale until the winter (when they need housing and feed again).

Visit Other Breeders Before Tackling Kidding Yourself

Before you try to handle your first kidding, we’d strongly recommend visiting other breeders and seeing one – or several – kiddings for yourself. This allows you to learn some of the key signs of kidding and gives you kidding experience that’s far more valuable than anything a book could teach. However, you should also always ensure you’ve read up plenty on kidding before visiting another breeder, so you can bolster your existing knowledge by viewing the real thing. 

It’s important to consider that visiting other breeders also allows you to ask questions of the breeder there and then, giving you greater knowledge and confidence when you come to manage your first kidding Boer doe.

Final Thoughts

Boer goat breeding is an incredibly exciting process, but you’ll need to consider several things to inform your decision and start out in the right way. Fortunately, we have outlined some of the key things you need to know about Boer goat breeding above to get you started on the right track. Of course, this is your own journey, so you’ll need to define your main goals and aims – but there’s certainly a lot to love, and you’ll surely learn a lot during your new Boer goat breeding endeavor.

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