In terms of clause 2.5 of the Constitution, the Council of the US-SABGBA must compile a breeding policy that complies with the requirements contained in the Constitution and in-line with the SA Requirements.
● Objective measurement of all measurable economically significant traits.
● Standard of excellence for visual evaluation.
A sound breeding policy for a meat production goat must be based on the following requirements:
Reproduction rate is the most important trait that affects the profitability of stock farming. The factors that affect reproduction rate, among others, and for which breeders must select in their breeding policy are the following:
1.1 Net reproduction rate
Fecundity is an important economic trait. Every Boer goat doe must have a kidding interval of fewer than 365 days. Bucks contribute 50% to breeding and it is therefore very important that breeding bucks are fertile. High libido and mating skill are requirements for breeding sires. Fecundity and milk production must always be measured relative to one another as in a doe production index (EPI). The ultimate goal must be to have does that regularly wean heavy kids. Be particularly careful of does who often have multiple births but are incapable of raising them properly.
1.2 Milk production
The quantity of milk of a lactating doe is measured by the growth capacity of her kids. The lactating udder must be well attached and developed with good teats a kid can easily nurse from. Milk production and mothering traits are the basic components of meat production on which commercial goat farming is based.
1.3 Mothering traits
This mystical trait of a doe to be able to care for her kid can be measured only in the weight of the weaned kid. It provides the mother with a special ability to overcome shortcomings or defects, such as calabash teats, vermin, etc. This trait must never be ignored in any selection program.
2.1 Growth capacity
The majority of goats in USA meat market are marketed based on weight. Profitability is determined by the total weight of kids weaned per year. In selecting meat goats for growth capacity two factors must be considered:
● Weaning weight
Weaning weight is largely an indication of the doe’s milk production and mothering traits, but it also gives a good indication of the kid’s own growth potential.
● Post-wean weight
The increase in weight after weaning is an indication of the kid’s genetic ability to produce progeny that will weigh heavier at weaning age. Although it is less important than weaning weight, this weight can be used to monitor late maturing animals as well as identify animals that adapt well under NATURAL production conditions.
2.2 Hardiness and adaptability
The animal’s growth in the post-wean phase is a good indication of its genetic ability as regards these traits. Great emphasis must be put on the importance, during this period, of not using only feedlot conditions in selecting breeding animals. Boer goats must have the capacity to produce and reproduce under different natural pasture and climatic conditions. At all times be aware of the fact that adapting (through breeding) goats to your local climatic conditions is of utmost importance to ensure the best survival, growth and profitability rate.
3. Conformation – standard of excellence
Since 1959 Boer goats have been strictly selected and improved to measure the ideal Boer goat against the breed standards as compiled by the SA Boer Goat Breeders’ Association. On this similar historical foundation the breed standards of the Kalahari Reds and Savannahs were also taken up in the Standard of Excellence of the SA Boer goat. As members of this Alliance we affirm that these breed standards will always be striven toward in the improvement of our goats. In applying these breed standards, the following must be particularly noted:
● To continuously breed to phenotype while simultaneously selecting and culling to adapt to climatic and regional circumstances. The emphasis is on functional effectiveness. Traits such as movement, muscling, vitality, traits that are signs of fecundity, etc.
Non-functional traits: Poor or no movement, no visual muscling, fat localization, unfeminine and unmasculine conformation, etc.
● The extent of phenotypical defects determines the disqualification of the breed standards.
4. Recording of Boer goats
Members of the association may own one or more herds that consist of:
● A recorded herd (Group C or B).
● A registered herd (Group A).
● OR both.
● Group D (no recording and no registration).
The method according to which registration or the recording system will take place is fully set out and discussed in the Regulations to the Constitution. This process of registration and recording also forms the basis of our breeding policy, as underwritten by the association.