One of the most popular breeds in the United States, Boer goats are typically raised for their meat. Hardy and easy to care for, they originate from South Africa and boast a lean, muscly body.
Like any type of animal, there are pros and cons to raising Boer goats. You’ll easily come across the pros when doing your research into the breed, but what about the disadvantages?
In this useful guide, we will look at some of the main Boer goat disadvantages to be aware of before deciding whether to introduce them to your farm or homestead.
What are the disadvantages of keeping Boer goats?
Like raising any type of animal on a farm or homestead, there are disadvantages to keeping Boer goats. It is important to be aware of these disadvantages before deciding whether they are the right option for you.
While there are some downsides to keeping Boer goats, most farmers agree that the good far outweighs the bad. Let’s dive in and look at some of the main disadvantages you need to be aware of.
1. Boer goats need a lot of space
One of the main downsides to keeping Boer goats is they do require a lot of space compared to some other varieties. They are a large breed of goat, which means you will need sufficient space to keep them. If they live in overcrowded herds, they can become aggressive, as well as develop bad behaviors.
According to general guidelines, you should aim to give each goat a minimum of a quarter of an acre of space.
2. Calculating the cost
The cost of owning Boer goats is another potential setback. They do tend to be one of the more expensive goats to raise, and you’ll need to provide roughage in their diet. Don’t forget to add up the potential cost of vet bills, food, housing, and land.
To purchase a Boer goat, unregistered animals cost between $100 to $350. Registered goats are more expensive, ranging from $300 to $2000 per goat.
3. Health problems
Any animal can develop health issues, but Boer goats are prone to parasites, infections, and hoof issues. Parasites can be a particularly frustrating issue to deal with, as Boer goats don’t have the same level of immunity to them as some other species. If left unchecked, they can lead to worms that go on to infect the digestive tract, liver, and lungs.
Footrot and Coccidia are two common hoof issues Boer goats are also prone to. This means you will need to stay on top of hoof care and maintenance if you don’t want to end up with a huge vet bill.
These health issues need to be considered before you decide to introduce Boer goats to your livestock.
4. They are excellent escape artists
According to many breeders, Boer goats are excellent escape artists. They are intelligent animals that will find a way to escape if there is one. This means to keep them securely, you are going to need to ensure their enclosure is super-secure.
In terms of fence height, Boer goats can jump to around 3.5 feet so the fence should be at least 4 feet high to effectively keep them inside.
5. There are a lot of poor-quality goats available
Perhaps one of the biggest issues you will encounter when searching for Boer goats, is the number of poor-quality animals on sale. Boer goats are some of the most popular in the United States, and there are plenty of breeders out there who are purely focused on making a profit.
Poor quality goats aren’t just going to reduce your profits if you are raising them for meat. They will also produce poor-quality offspring, and they may suffer from more health issues, driving up the cost of keeping them.
To ensure you avoid this potential downfall, you will need to make sure you are buying Boer goats from a quality breeder.
Final Thoughts On Keeping Boer Goats
As you can see, there are several Boer goat disadvantages to be aware of.
However, in most cases, the rewards of keeping this popular breed far outweigh the bad.
Always take into account the pros and cons of raising Boer goats before deciding if they are the right choice for your homestead.