Stour Valley Boer Goats


Boer goats are polyestrous (they can breed throughout the year), and they reach sexual maturity at 5 months of age.

Multiple births are common and a 200% kid crop is achievable in managed herds. Usually first time does will have one kid, but it is possible for them to have more. After that, they will have an average of two kids each time.

Weaning size is largely controlled by how much milk the mother produces, along with how long she allows each kid to nurse.

The presence of a buck causes does to come into estrus (heat), which lasts about 24–36 hours. The gestation period for does varies from 149 to 155 days.

Boer does are normally very good mothers, requiring only minimal attention from the owner; however, this is not always true when a doe delivers her very first kid.

First time does should be supervised, as the mothering instinct may not manifest itself the first time she delivers. After the first time, Boer does normally make excellent mothers.


The most critical part of any meat goat operation is the selection of a herd sire (breeding buck). A high quality buck can produce high quality offspring even when mated with an average doe.
Boer goats tend to gain weight at about the same rate as their sire, so a buck from a proven fast growing bloodline will command the highest price, as its offspring will tend to also be fast growers.

The primary market for slaughter goats is a 15–36 kg (35-80 lb) kid; kids should reach marketable size at weaning age. The kid of a proven fast-growing sire might weigh 36 kg (80 lb) at 90 days, while the kid of a poor quality sire might weigh only 15 kg (35 lb) at 90 days. An average quality buck will initially be less expensive to purchase; however, they can significantly undermine an operation's long-term profitability. Other criteria for a breeding buck include:

  * Jaw alignment – most meat goats are raised on pasture. A goat with poor jaw alignment will be at a significant disadvantage when feeding on pasture; poor jaw alignment is not acceptable in a commercial herd sire.

  * Good feet and legs: needed to move about the pasture. Hoof rot is a common problem for goats that live in high rain areas if the hooves are not clipped regularly.

  * Two well formed equal-size testes in a single scrotum: the main purpose of a buck is to breed does.

Bucks are normally separated from the does except for when breeding is specifically intended.

Successful bucks must be able to survive on pasture. Pen-raised bucks will stay near their pen, while the does they are supposed to breed are out in the pasture.

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