South African goat breeds: Boer goat

Boer goats are found all over the world, but they were first bred here in South Africa. In the 1930s breeders focussed on developing a more uniform goat with excellent meat characteristics, growth ability and fertility, but without losing its hardiness and adaptability.
The Boer goat is a red-headed large framed goat with a white body. The ideal is an average sized heavy goat for maximum meat production. A desirable ratio between length of leg and depth of body should be achieved at all ages.
It is a goat with a fine head, lob ears, round horns that are bent backwards, a loose, supple skin with folds (especially in bucks).
The doe must be feminine, wedging slightly to the front, which is a sign of fertility. The buck is heavier in the head, neck and forequarters and must be masculine.
A variety of colour patterns occur, but the ideal is a white goat with a red head and ears, a white blaze and fully pigmented skin. Shadings between light and dark red are permissible. It has short, smooth, glossy hair.
It is a non-seasonal breeder and, therefore, suits most management systems. Multiple births are the norm. Triplets and quadruplets are fairly common. The ovulation rate for
Age at first breeding: 6 months
Number of kids born / number of does kidded: 154
Number of kids weaned per number of does kidded: 120
100-day weaning weight buck kids: 27 kg
100-day weaning weight doe kids: 24 kg
Mature weight does: 80 kg.
The Boer goat adapts well to both extensive bush veld and intensive pasture systems. Boer goats are able to forage great distances.
For more information on management of these goats go to