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T4 Ranch
W.E. and Carolyn Whitehead

"BOER GOATS IN DISGUISE"
by
Carolyn Whitehead

As we continue to move ahead in this Boer Goat Industry, we are more aware of the changes taking place almost on a daily basis. Since its inaugural appearance in 1993, the Boer Goat has somehow managed to capture the hearts of thousands of Americans.

In the beginning and for about three years a very good foundation was laid so as to preserve the intent of those who first gambled upon this animals success in America. We have now managed to slide into that dreadful record keeping position that is so important to preserve the bloodlines we fought so hard to establish.

We find it particularily interesting that entry level buyers seem to be more interested and concerned with paper work than the actual goat. To them the papers are proof of the animals true blood and a tracking device for extended record keeping. Also the same buyers are most intrigued with who the goat is (son of or daughter of) rather than what the goat looks like. Its hard to believe that the papers may not be correct isn't it?

Recently upon examination, we found several registration papers that were wrong and errors were not detected early. If the animal had been sold it certainly would not have been a true representation of the goat's pedigree.

We happened to be at a Boer Goat farm this summer to look at a doe. We found what we wanted and asked if she was registered and if the papers were ready to go. The owner said that she had not been registered but had all the information to do so. He said it was easy to tell because of the color and long ears. After questioning this breeder we found they simply turned out the bucks with the does and registered the kids according to whom the kids looked like or if they saw the coupling made record of it. (Wonder who took the night shift?) Well we passed on the doe because it is very important to us that we know the actual bloodline to blend pedigrees for future Boer Goat development.

Being organized and keeping good records is a true sign of business success. It is perhaps one of the most envied and the hardest to acquire AND it is BORING!! Tracking Boer Goats is truly difficult especially if you are a large breeder. Those breeders must put bucks out separately with does so as to record births and eventually register kids. Well what if you have 20 bucks and 20 groups of does? How much land do you have to have? (Didn't we have this in General Math?)

OK leaders of the industry, where is our DNA testing? With DNA, breeders could draw blood on their bucks, turn them out with the does and when the kids are ready to register, draw blood on them to get the exact sire and therefore the correct information to use on their pedigrees. It is our opinion that these blood tests should accompany each pedigree because that is the only true indicator of the purity of the breed and the genetic bloodline of the animal. It is the buyers only guarantee that they are getting what the seller is selling.

It is very important to us that we pass on the most correct information we can to those who will pick up where we leave off.

We hope each of you had a very pleasant summer.

Happy Trails,

W.E. and Carolyn Whitehead
T4 Ranch 

 

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