Angoras and Boers are sometimes crossed to create a meat goat with exceptional growth, carcass, meat quality and meat color.
Angora Goats have reportedly existed during biblical times because mohair (the Angora’s hair) is mentioned in records dated around 1500 B.C. The breed is known to have originated in the Angora region near Ankara, Turkey.
The Boer Goat was developed in the early 1900's by Dutch farmers in South Africa. Boers are known for being docile, having high fertility and a fast growth rates. They are a popular breed raised for meat.
Appearance / health:
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Angoras are prone to parasite attacks due to their dense hair.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
Angora Goats are particularly susceptible to cold after shearing; therefore, should be housed in a barn during those times.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
Angora Goats have specific nutritional requirements to sustain their rapid hair growth.
Great for Hiking and Packing
I raised two Angora-Boer crosses from birth due to health issues, but both recovered and went on to live rambunctious and highly adventurous lives. Personality-wise, these goats are smart, self assured, and loyal to their herd. Cusco was the first baby I nursed/raised. He couldn’t stand after birth as his back legs were too weak. I learned it was Selenium deficiency, which was brought on by feeding the mother cane hay during pregnancy. Cane hay doesn’t have all the necessary nutrients a developing kid needs, but I was able to correct that for Cusco with supplements and vitamins added to the mother's colostrum, and after about a month he was running around with the rest of the kids like nothing had ever been wrong. The second kid was born with a humped neck which hindered regular nursing. I believe the humped neck came about because he was in a breach position in the womb, and his mother was small to begin with. Due to his neck, I named him Buffalo, and as with Cusco, I turned a fully healthy and happy kid back into the herd within about a months of care and supplements, the bowed neck back to its normal shape.
We raised Angora X Boer crosses for two purposes: mohair and packing. Packing and hiking was a daily ritual for my family at the time, and we needed goats strong enough to haul packs laden with fencing tools and lunch all over the pasture. These crosses were perfect for that, and took to the task with ease after getting used to the weight and shifting of the pack contents. Their intelligence and sure-footedness made them agile hikers over hills, sand, and rocks, and spending hours each day, every day with them integrated us humans into the herd. The goats were also highly alert of their surroundings, and would “circle the wagons” around the humans when they sensed predators nearby. As far as their mohair, I found the crosses to have much coarser mohair than pure Angoras. My mother said it wasn’t good quality to make clothing, but it was good for making straps and bands on the inkle loom for packs, and good as stuffing for dog beds.
Although loyal and sweet, these goats were also crafty, and found new ways of getting out of, around, over, or through fences we put up. The most effective fence was made of pig paneling, but I often worried the smaller squares would catch and break a leg. Barbed wire didn't deter them, and electric fence is only effective when it has at least four strands, and believe me, the goats will check. Think of them like the raptors from Jurassic Park: they will look for a weakness in their enclosure, and when they find it they’ll take the entire herd through. They are also stubborn (what goat isn’t?) and dominance is a big issue that needs to be addressed. It may be cute to watch them rear up on their hind legs and head butt you when they are small kids, but it’s not adorable when they’re big enough to knock you in the dirt. You need to be assertive and in charge so they see you as a leader of the herd and not on equal footing with them, or they’ll challenge your place in the hierarchy.
These crosses were generally healthy, barring the complications with the pregnancies, but I did have to patch up several wounds when they were scraped by sharp tin or mesquite thorns. They were also fond of scaling vertical hills and then jumping from the top, so arthritis in their knees was a concern when they grew older. Though I loved these goats dearly, I wouldn’t get this particular cross again. Shearing them is a pain and I’m not interested in utilizing the mohair. However, for the dual purpose of mohair and packing, these goats are an excellent choice..
From ShilohOhmes Mar 17 2015 11:23AM