While some Boer Goat producers prefer to have their bucks run with the does all year round, a better management practice is to have specific breeding seasons which will allow better management of the kidding season. This will allow a more homogenous group of animals to be managed more effectively in terms of weighing, vaccinating, weaning, ear tagging and marketing.
It is important to consider various factors when planning the breeding cycle:
fodder flow and feed availability,
natural oestrus cycle of the doe,
In terms of management inputs, it significantly reduces the workload if all innoculations, vaccinations, ear tagging and other practices can be carried out in a group context rather than having to handle kids on an ongoing never-ending basis as they are born. A planned breeding cycle also ensures that the producer can present largely similar groups of Boer Goats for sale rather than smaller lots of animals.
The reproduction rate of Boer Goats is one of the most beneficial characteristics for the meat producer. Kidding percentages of 180% are easily achieved with good management input.
There are various factors which affect the kidding percentage of the doe:
The Boer Goat doe displays seasonal oestrus with a peak in April/May (southern hemisphere autumn) and a trough from October to January (southern hemisphere midsummer).
Does reach puberty at around six months of age. However, pregnancies at this young age can negatively impact their growth and permanently rein in future performance. A useful rule of thumb is that young does should not be mated before reaching 60% of a doe’s average adult body mass, thus, generally around 40 kg.
Good grazing and adequate nutritional levels go hand in hand with animal production (kidding percentages and milk production). As with any ruminant, nutrition levels have a noticeable impact on the reproduction levels of Boer Goats.
One infertile doe has only a minimal impact on the reproduction index of a flock while an infertile buck has a major impact.
Generally, the following practices have a positive influence on improved reproduction when administered two to three months before mating:
administer vitamins A, D and E,
Supplement zinc if zinc levels are too low in pastures,
Inoculate against pulpy kidney,
Dose for round worm and nose worm,
Ensure that bucks are in a good condition and are free from any hoof problems,
Bucks should receive adequate exercise to ensure that they are fit and don’t become too fat and lazy.
Before mating occurs
Ensure that does are not too fat at the time of being mated. They should be in a phase of improving condition. A condition score of around 3 is recommended.
Generally, the following practices have a direct or indirect impact on improved reproduction four to six weeks before mating:
Supplement zinc and manganese if a deficiency is present. This improves fertility.
Inoculate against enzootic abortion and pulpy kidney.
Dose for roundworm and noseworm.
Ensure that does are in a good condition and have no hoof problems.
Reject all does with problem udders, teats that are either abnormally enlarged and those with multiple teats.
Administer Vitamins A, D and E three weeks before the mating season. This is extremely important, especially during dry periods.
Administer flush feed in the form of a suitable lick or a small amount of chocolate maize daily. This is in addition to good grazing.
Put teaser bucks in place 2-3 weeks before mating time.
Have bucks tested for fertility.
One buck per 35 – 40 does. It is very important to endeavor to mating the young does separately from the mature does.
* One buck per 30 does.
With regard to the above, it is important to keep bucks in small shady paddocks during hot periods with an adequate ration of suitable feed. bucks should only be released among does during the evening. This system works particularly well in cases where goats are penned at night.
This should be done in cool weather wherever possible. A buck can cover a doe every half hour.
Insert sponge on day 1. Remove sponge on day 14 and inject 0,25ml PMS on withdrawal during the active period of March – June or 0,5ml PMS during July – February (Southern Hemisphere).
Inseminate at 48, 60, 72 hours.
Guard against synchronising too many does at a time. Does which are artificially inseminated on the same day usually give birth within a period of 5-7 days relative to one another.
Keep does as calm as possible, providing protection against excessive heat.
After insemination, stimulate with teaser bucks or young bucks on the other side of the fence.
Keep does in approximately the same condition score as prior to insemination.
Keep does in the same growing condition for the first month in order to prevent abortion of the fertilized ovum.
Have does tested for pregnancy by sonar 40 days after covering, or remove open does, with markers, and place with teaser bucks; or install cleanup bucks 14 days after insemination.
Patriot Boer Goat Stud
As with all my Boer Goats, these are functionally efficient animals produced under extensive farming conditions in the semi-arid Karoo region of South Africa, home of the Boer Goat. These are not impressive stall-fed animals that loose condition and are unable to perform once put out in the veld (bush). They cover their allotted 30 does with ease, whilst maintaining condition and ability to produce under extensive farming conditions.