Other common names: Boer X Spanish
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.
Spanish Goats are said to have been brought to North and Central America by Spanish explorers in the early 1500s. They are typically small-to medium-sized goats of various colors and coloration patterns. Considered the hardiest and most efficient goat in the US, the Spanish goat has a strong, muscular build, with somewhat pendulous ears. Does have small udders and teats, a preferred characteristic for foraging in wild brush.
Boers and Spanish goats are often crossed to create a meat goat with exceptional growth, carcass, meat quality and meat color.
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. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.
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.
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.
My Journey with Snowman
When I lived in a trailer park in Oklahoma, my landlady owned a herd of pygmy and Spanish/Boer goats. My review is about one of the more individually unique Spanish/Boer billies. Snowman was the head billy. I got to know him when he was just reaching his maximum size in life. I started helping my landlady with taking care of her goats when my landlady had to go to the hospital.
Snowman was extremely territorial and possessive when it came to the nannies. The first Easter that I spent at this trailer park was the most memorable for me. All the kids in the trailer park were at my trailer while the adults hid Easter eggs throughout the landlady's yard. Once the eggs were hidden, I escorted the children over to the landlady's house. On the way there, the whole goat herd crossed the footpath in front of us. Unfortunately, I told the kids to stop. Snowman thought I was talking to him! He actually attacked me in front of the kids. The kids freaked out and ran to the landlady's. I ended up wrestling with Snowman. Once I got him wrestled to the ground, I stared him in the eye and started talking to him. I explained to him that I was not hollering at him, but at the human children. I told him that if he understood me, to vocalize his understanding. He did, and I let him up. We walked to the landlady's house and I told him that he needed to apologize to the children. He walked up to each of the children and gently nibbled on their fingers. After that, he nudged me in the back. When I reached into my back pocket to get my cigarettes, they were gone! I ran after Snowman and found my pack of cigarettes in his mouth. I took the cigarettes from him and my landlady said that she gave the goats tobacco to keep them healthy from worms. So, I gave Snowman a cigarette.
If you are having behavior problems with your goat, show them that you are alpha. When you talk to them, look them in the eyes and talk to them. After saying what you need to or want to tell them, tell them to vocalize their understanding. Once you do this, you will notice that the behavior problems will become reduced..
From Zigger81 Dec 21 2013 6:22PM
Gives veterinarians an idea of what's inside
This is a very important part of a veterinarian's physical exam. Heart and lung sounds can be a great indication of overall health. For goat kids that are at risk for pneumonia, it is even more important to hear if the lungs are clear or congested. .
From DrHill 66 days ago