Economic Value of the Boer Goat
Economical farming implies profitable farming, in other words the more profit you make out of farming enterprise, the more economical or profitable it is. The livelihood of the farmer thus depends on his farming with that animal or crop which will ensure that he receives the highest possible yield and profit in the climatic and soil conditions applicable to his circumstances. He also depends on optimal utilisation of each natural source, in such a way that the resource in question will not deteriorate as a result, but will rather be improved over the long term.
The Boer Goat fulfills the above aims in the following ways in terms of its characteristic features:
1. MEAT AND PELTS OF A HIGH QUALITY
1.1 Meat: Considered in the light of the health-consciousness that prevails on a worldwide basis, the SA Boer Goat yields hart friendly, low cholesterol lean meat of a high quality, particularly during the young stage. The meat is flavoursome, succulant, tender, extremely attractive and very tasty. As a result of these qualities Boer Goat meat is very much sought after. Boer Goats must be marketed between the ages of 3 and 12 months, and carcasses should weigh no more than 23 kg. Goats in good condition yield biltong and dried sausage (droewors) of very good quality, which can definitely compete with the very best on the market.: Considered in the light of the health-consciousness that prevails on a worldwide basis, the SA Boer Goat yields hart friendly, low cholesterol lean meat of a high quality, particularly during the young stage. The meat is flavoursome, succulant, tender, extremely attractive and very tasty. As a result of these qualities Boer Goat meat is very much sought after. Boer Goats must be marketed between the ages of 3 and 12 months, and carcasses should weigh no more than 23 kg. Goats in good condition yield biltong and dried sausage (droewors) of very good quality, which can definitely compete with the very best on the market.
Organic meat: A Very exciting thought about this meat is that with a little sellection against internal and external parasites it will be quite possible to exhibit the meat of the SA Boer Goat on the shopshelves as organic meat!
In the light of the predilection for the Boer goat meat displayed by certain consumers in SA and the rest of the world, along with the characteristics required for the right type of meat for the healthconscious sector of consumers world-wide, one cannot do otherwise than predict a rosy future for Boer Goat meat originating from goats of a high quality.
Table 2 Comparison of the chemical composition of goat & other species (per 100g)
* Not available (From an article by Dr. Vlok Ferreira, Boer Goat News 2002)
2. HARDY AND ADAPTABLE
The Boer Goat is undoubtedly one of the hardiest small stock breeds in the world, with a great capacity for adoption. It is therefore encountered in a great variety of climatic - and pasture - conditions and is consequently fit for conditions varying from extensive to intensive. It is well known that the SA Boer Goat climatise well in the warmest, driest regents of SA and also in other countries where humidity is very high and also can this adaptable animal tolerate very low temperatures. Boer Goats are particularly drought resistant and it is reported that in arid areas where water-places are far apart they only drink every 6 to 7 days. The SA Boer Goat possess the unique quality that it can not only survive on very little, but can flourish on optimum feeding conditions and produce optimum production.
3. RESISTANCE TO DISEASES
The Boer Goat also has an exceptional ability to withstand and resist diseases such as blue tongue, prussic acid poisoning (geilsiekte) and, to a lesser extent, enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney). As far as is known, Boer Goats do not contract blue tongue at all. Their grazing habits also make them less susceptible to infection caused by internal parasites, since Boer Goats prefer to graze above the ground, if such grazing is available, such as bushveld or scrub vegetation.
4. FERTILITY AND KID PERCENTAGE
The Boer Goat is very fertile and is not seasonally bound. Furthermore, multiple births are the rule rather than the exception, with an average kid percentage of 180%. These two important economic characteristics have made the Boer Goat very popular for the following reasons:
4.1 Because the Boer Goat is not seasonally bound, the kidding season can be selected to fit in with the period when food is most plentiful; or, under intensive conditions, kidding can occur every 7 - 8 months.
4.2 It's exceptionally high kid percentage implies that the Boer Goat cannot be surpassed with regard to the percentage of meat per kilogram per ewe or per hectare. This factor places the Boer Goat very high on the ranking list with regard to intensive farming.
In figure 1 the result of 108 ewes older than 1 year's evaluation with regard to reproduction over 3 years: Kg meat per ewe produced per year aver. over 3 years, eg. 3 ewes left produced 15,20 kg aver. at 100 days; centre 30.35 kg meat aver. per year at 100 days. The group far right produced more than 50 kg meat aver. per year at 100 days.
5. ABUNDANCE OF MILK
Growth rate is linked to sufficient milk production and good nurturing instincts in ewes with regard to their young. An ewe has enough milk to raise two kids rapidly.
The SA Boer Goat is able to maintain economic production up to the age of approximately 10 years. This implies that the percentage of young replacement ewes which have to be withheld, is very low.
7. GRAZING HABITS
Goats prefer small trees and shrubs as their basic diet, but their exceptional economic value lies precisely in the fact that they are able to utilise certain plants which are less appetising to other stock breeds. Experiments undertaken at Omatjenne Experimental Farm have proved that a Boer Goat consumes 74% leaves and 26% grass. As a result, it is possible to farm with cattle and Boer Goats simultaneously without their being in competition with each other to any great extent, so that a maximum number of kilograms of meat per hectare can be produced. As a result of the grazing habits of the Boer Goat, it can be successfully incorporated in this way in order to utilise bushes and shrubs, and thus to assist in controlling infiltration of the bush.
When one considers all these characteristics of the SA Boer Goat along with all the space available in this country as well as abroad, where Boer Goats could be successfully accommodated and establish itself world-wide as one of the biggest natural resources for farmers.