Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Mar 22, 2015
I had one full Boer goat, a buck named Domingo, used to breed the mixed does we had in our herd. Our goal with the boer was to produce mixed babies good for packing and for meat. Boers are stocky and sturdy goats with thick legs and very heat tolerant due to their origins. This was a big deciding factor, since we lived in the Texas Panhandle and spent a good bit of our days out in the pasture working and hiking, and took the goat herd along with us. Boers are also pretty disease resistant, and Domingo never had anything more than a few cuts or scrapes for us to bandage the entire time we had him. My Mom was leery about getting a buck for our herd. Up until then we transported our does to a breeder because the bucks my Mom had experience with had been aggressive and hard to handle.
Domingo was everything opposite of what we expected. Sweet, laid back, totally unconcerned with asserting dominance. He was like a big, loyal Golden Retriever, and as long as he had his girls he was perfectly happy. He wasn't as smart as most of the herd; we had other goats that were highly intelligent problem solvers. Domingo was not one of them until breeding season. The only trouble we had with him was getting through or around fences when we tried to keep the does separate and one or more went into heat. Domingo packed a lot of muscle and he used it when he wanted into the doe pen. Other than that we could lead him by leash, load him in the truck, pet him, trim his hooves, and take him on hikes like any of the other goats we had, but with far less fuss.
We fed Domingo the same as the other goats: COB grain, straw hay in the summer, alfalfa in the winter, and surplus garden scrap. He also got to forage in the pasture almost every day, and the daily hikes kept him in shape and kept his hooves healthy. Since bucks secrete musk to attract does in heat, avoid touching the head where the glands are located. It’s a VERY strong, distinct smell that will stay on you for a while.
Boers are mainly a meat goat, so if putting goat meat on your table is your plan from the outset then this is a great breed for you. It turned out we couldn’t really stomach the meat after raising the babies, so we ended up selling the stock to other goat herders. The meat itself was fine, but we got attached, so the problem was all ours. They are stocky and hardy creatures, which could be hard to handle or control if you yourself do not have the strength to contend with them, especially a buck who only has one thing on his mind. Overall this is a great breed for the intended purpose.