The Boer Goat is purely indigenous to Africa and more so to South Africa. With the development and enobling of the Boer Goat , no cross - breeding or foreign species were used. In fact only by means of brilliant selection and breeding from indigenous animals this enobled race was developed.
This extraordinary achievement was the work of a handful of farmers from the Eastern Cape in South Africa. One of the pinnacles in the history of the Boer Goat was the establishment of the South African Boer Goat Breeders Association in Somerset East on the 4th July 1959.
What followed was a continued improvement of an already existing breed by a broad spectrum of highly qualified and valued breeders throughout South Africa and Nambia following a healthy breeding policy. In this relatively short period of 48 years, the Boer Goat has developed into the most favoured meat goat in the world, producing a low calorie, heart friendly meat.
Landcorp imported the Boer goat into New Zealand in embryo form. These were purchased from breeders in Zimbabwe and brought to New Zealand for implantation in 1987 and 1988. The goats born from these embryos created the base of the New Zealand Boer goat herd farmed by Landcorp at Keri Downs Quarantine Station in Northland. In 1989 Landcorp created a second herd of Boer goats at Eyrewell Quarantine Station in Canterbury. Goats created from breeding programs at these Quarantine Stations were released to the farming public in 1993.
A second company also imported embryos from Zimbabwe in 1987 and started a breeding programme in a Quarantine Station at Flock House. Aminals from this Quarantine Station were also released in 1993.
The Boer Goat has much to offer the New Zealand Goat Meat Industry.It is suitable for a wide range of pastoral conditions. Boers under good management will reach carcass weights of 14-18kg at eight months of age.With it's high fertility, rapid growth rate and quality carcass conformation combined with the Boers ability to maintain economic production for six years or longer make the Boer Goat a valuable commodity.
The Boer is suited for use in cross breeding programs to improve meat characteristics in feral or weed control goats. Even on the first cross the carcass size is considerably increased. The Boer is also suitable as a terminal sire in dairy or fibre goats. In an increasingly health conscious world, demand in New Zealand and overseas for low fat, low calorie Boer Goat Meat is strong and growing with increasing returns for the farmer.
The Boer or Boer cross goat is an effective alternative aid in the fight against weeds. Goats are browsers and are excellent at controlling blackberry, gorse, broom, thistles, ragwort, etc and with the removal of these weeds, pasture quality is improved for other livestock use. Recent trials have shown that Boer goats can utilise land that is not suitable for other livestock so therefore in an extensive farming operation, total stock units can be increased thus giving a better financial return for the farm.