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New Zealand: Minority
Importation: 1989

Boer Goats

A Minority Breed of South African Origin

Boer goat (Photo by Geoff Trotter)
Boer Goat   (Photo by Geoff Trotter)

      Boer goats developed in South Africa from an indigenous breed with the addition of some European, Angora and Indian breeds. The name comes from the Dutch word “boer” meaning “farmer” and was used to distinguish them from Angora goats which were imported into South Africa during the nineteenth century. The present day Boer goat appeared in the early 1900s when South African farmers started selecting for a meat type goat.

      The Boer goat is a large animal and is a specialized meat-producer. Landcorp first imported embryos of the breed into New Zealand in 1989 but they did not become commercially available until the mid-1990s when they were released from quarantine.

      In this country purebred bucks are often used in grading-up programmes (see » Grading Up).

      Boer goats gained in popularity as the price for goats’ meat rose. Many dairy goat farmers use a boer buck over some of their dairy goat does to produce kids that reach their goal weight faster than a purebred dairy goat kid would.

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