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Further Reading

Further Reading…

Going into goats can be a daunting idea, even if you have experience with other livestock. Pieter and Caroline spent a year researching goats before they even purchased their first registered Boer Goats. Nothing can replace hands on experience, but knowledge is key to achieving the best results with your goats – whether as pets or as a business enterprise.

One of the first places to start your research is talking to people who are already doing what you want to achieve. We are always happy for people to contact us and make an appointment to visit BeauTerre, to look at our goats and our operation here, and to ask as many questions as they want to. Your vet and other breeders will also be a valuable source of information as you start up and when you encounter any problems, so its important to make good contacts with people whose advice you trust right from the beginning.

There are also many good websites with helpful information, and some of these are listed in the links on the Boer Goat Information tab on this website.

A couple of books that we found very useful and continue to use, are ‘Raising Meat Goats’ by Maggie Sayer, and ‘Farming Meat Goats’ by Barbara Vincent. Both books have pages earmarked that we continue to go back to year after year.

Raising Meat Goats‘ by Maggie Sayer, has a lot of information that farmers need to start a meat-goat business or expand an existing operation. It includes:

  • daily health care routines
  • up-to-date guidelines on health and disease
  • understanding goat psychology and behavior
  • reproductive care and techniques
  • tips on promotion and marketing

Farming Meat Goats‘ by Barbara Vincent is an Australian book which will allow farmers to produce animals to specification for targeted markets in Australia and overseas. It includes:

  • advice on selecting and preparing a property for goats
  • choosing breeding stock
  • breeding
  • health care and nutrition
  • drought feeding
  • condition scoring
  • advice re marketing

We would highly commend both books to you.


What is a Cow Doing on a Boer Goat Farm?

Worms in goats are a major health issue which can significantly affect their welfare as well as economic outcomes. Worm larvae enter a goat’s gut after they eat infected grass, these larvae then mature into egg producing adults. Worm eggs are excreted by the goat in their faeces, which then develop into larvae and attach to grass which is eaten by the goats, and they become reinfected. Reaching for a drench may seem to be an easy fix, but with the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant worms and concerns over the use of chemicals, other solutions are worth incorporating into an effective management strategy.

Effective grazing management is accomplished by managing pastures in a way that will reduce the parasitic load. There are several ways to do this:

  • Browsing above the ground
  • Alternate grazing of goats with cattle
  • Rotational grazing


Browse Area

Stocking ratesWhen goats are run in a bush area with plenty of forage rather than just a pasture paddock, there can be significant benefits. By browsing, goats will not consume forage close to the ground where the parasite larvae are located. In addition, many browse plants have high tannin concentrations which have been shown to reduce faecal egg counts.

Alternate Grazing

IMG_0923Most worms are host specific, that is, they are only able to infect either goats or cattle, not both. This means that grazing a contaminated pasture by cattle results in death of the goat worm larvae.


Rotational Grazing

This method is based on graze periods in a paddock being sufficiently brief (4-10 days) to avoid autoinfection, or resting a paddock long enough to have allowed enough time for many of the larvae on the pasture to die (typically 40-80 days).

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