Boer Goats

Posted by Ben Dolby on

Boer Goats are the only goats that have been bred specifically for meat: this seems a bit of a one-sided deal when you consider that Goats have been managed by man for over 12,000 years and are usually considered companion animals (next to the bog standard dogs and cats). Over this time, we have had many thousands of breeding generations where we should have made ‘improvements’, so we should have got it right by now…

And I think we have. The Boer goat originated in South Africa: it is totally different in appearance from dairy goats that give their own bodyweight in milk every few days, hairy Mohairy Angora goats that produce such fabulous fibre, fun-sized Pigmy goats that simply are a joy to watch bouncing, or any of the breeds found in Asia or Africa that don’t seem to have any particular forte.

The Boer is specifically a meat animal. It is stocky chap (or chapesse), with a broad chest, relatively short legs and chunky backside. The Boer’s distinguished colours are chestnut (on the head) with a white body with the same chestnut splodges dotted willy-nilly on the body. They are famous for being very docile (c.f. lairy little Golden Guernsey males) and their placid temperament makes it easier to keep in fenced paddocks. Most frazzled dairy goatkeepers who have had to look after Boers say they are a joy to keep, compared to their own longer legged Houdinis…

Embryos from South Africa have gone viral and today Boer goats can be found throughout the UK and other European countries as well as USA, Canada, New Zealand - and everywhere in between.

Many breeders cross Boer goats with dairy breeds such as Saanen to produce better quality and faster growing meat animals for the rapidly increasing goat meat market. The meat is suitable for diabetics,is low in cholesterol with little fat and has a long fibre length. This makes it ideal for processing into burgers, sausages and other extruded products where the fibre length helps the final product retain its shape.

Boer goat meat from young animals is as palatable as any other type of meat from any other stock breed and wonderful dishes can be prepared from it.

 The British Boer Goat Society was formed in Britain in 1988: it now has numerous breeding studs on its books. The secretary is Jane Wilson, Gibshiel, Tarset, Hexham, Northumberland NE48 1RR Telephone 01434 267939 - and her email address is

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