Title: The Boer goat. 2. Growth, nutrient requirements, carcass and meat quality.
Personal Authors: Niekerk, W. A. van, Casey, N. H.
Author Affiliation: N. H. Casey, Department of Livestock Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Pretoria, 0002 Pretoria, South Africa.
Editors: No editors
Document Title: Small Ruminant Research
This review concludes that growth rates of Boer goats are generally lower than sheep and, under favourable nutritional conditions, weight gains of more than 200 g per day can be obtained compared with up to 176 g per day under extensive subtropical conditions. Lactation and pregnancy have a marked effect on metabolizable energy intake, and pregnant does have been shown to have improved feed conversion ratio (6.06 kg/kg) compared with virgin does (10.96 kg/kg). Feed intake, growth and milk yield of does and birth weight of kids are reduced if diets containing less than 6% crude protein are given. Little information is available on mineral requirements of goats. The carcass of Boer goats is generally leaner, less compact and has different carcass proportions from sheep. The relatively high collagen contents with lower solubility of Boer goat meat, has meant that the eating quality has been regarded as inferior to that of lamb and mutton. Breeding holds the key to improving tenderness of goat meat; different slaughtering techniques can be used as well. Boer goats have high potential as meat animals when yielding 3 kid crops in 2 years and when fed to gain more than 200 g/day.