This is a more difficult issue to explain and it will be different for most breeders.
What you will not see on our web site is a list of 13-20 different well known names
in the Boer goat industry that have been Ennobled or pictured in magazines. First
being Ennobled does not mean an animal is really an outstanding breeding animal.
The SA judges that have taught the ABGA judges training classes have stated over
and over that an animal that wins in a show may not be the best choice for your main
breeding animal for producing goat meat commercially. The second point is there is
so much politics in the shows that it is not a reliable measurement for the best
animals. Our genetic selection has evolved from accident to proven producers of offspring
that match our Ideal Animal Model.
When we first started breeding Boers, we accidently selected EGGSfile genetics and
we believe that was one of the best things that happened to us. Our current herd
is heavily focused around EGGSfile genetics and we have done extensive line breeding
with our EGGSfile bloodlines. At the first Showstopper sale, we purchased a Doe that
was bred to EGGSfile and that resulted in our having Xtender. Xtender was the biggest
buck we have ever seen and weighed around 400 lbs at one time without any effort
being done to put weight on him. Several years later, we purchased an EGGSfile daughter
at the third Showstopper sale. That EGGSfile daughter was bred by Xtender, also an
EGGSfile son. That resulted in our Painted Warrior. Xtender and Painted Warrior have
been the main foundation for our breeding program and continues to be our focus.
There are two pictures shown below that compare Xtender to two different bucks.
One is comparing Xtender to P/H Bingo, the only three time ABGA National Grand Champion
Buck. The other picture is a comparison of Xtender to another breeder's main breeding
EGGSfile was the first animal that we heard of selling for a very large amount of
money. A millionaire named Stan Benz wanted to get into the Boer goat business and
have the best bloodlines in the U.S. We heard that he paid $50,000 for EGGSfile.
Stan called one of our friends that had a small herd of some of the best show quality
animals in the U.S. He told them, he wanted to purchase their herd. They said they
were not interested in selling the herd. Stan told them they had not heard the price
he was willing to pay. When Stan hung up from that phone call, Stan was the new owner
of our friend's herd. Several years later Stan Benz died of a heart attack and EGGSfile
again sold for $50,000 at the dispersal sale to Don Smith, one of the leading breeders
of top quality Boer goats in the U.S. Shortly after Don Smith made the purchase,
EGGSfile died while being hauled from Georgia to Texas. Don Smith spent $22,000 to
have EGGSfile cloned. EGGSfile is the only buck I know of that was considered valuable
enough to try cloning him. While Ennoblements are not a reliable sign of quality,
it can't be ignored either. As of December 22, 2009, EGGSfile has 22 ABGA Ennobled
offspring and two of them came from our herd. That is a clear sign of consistency
in the quality of EGGSfile offspring and why his genetics have been at the foundation
of our herd. That does not mean we would go purchase an EGGSfile offspring now because
we believe each year we have to try moving ahead in our quality rather than continuing
to live in the past.
As we started to evolve in how we selected new genetics to bring into our herd, we
went to focusing on looking for genetics that had a proven record on producing offspring
that included some of the key features desired in our Ideal Animal. One example where
we had good luck was using Big 85 offspring instead of Pipeline. Big 85 was the sire
of Pipeline but Pipeline was better known. We had better results from Big 85 genetics.
Recently we have purchased genetics from two different bucks that we believe have
proven results in their offspring. They are DCW Bo Jangle and SWE Main Event. We
currently have does from both of those bucks and have been very happy with the results
we are getting when we cross them with our EGGSfile genetics in Painted Warrior,
War Dancer, and Bold Warrior. We have been most impressed with the Main Event offspring
we have seen at the last two Elite Coalition sales but normally the prices have been
too high for us. The only Main Event offspring we have came from purchasing a recip
carrying one of his kids. That recip gave us 2DOX Barracuda. Her full sister sold
at the 2009 sale. She sold for $7,750, the second highest selling animal at the sale.
We would not trade our Barracuda for her and she only cost us around $2,000. We are
anxious to see Barracuda's kids in February to see how our genetics cross with the
Main Event genetics. We do not look at having a wide variety of genetics in our herd
so we will continue to stay focused on a few bloodlines and keep the best of each
crossing to build our future breeding herd.
Genetics to Avoid
On this negative side, we do not list names but we believe that it is important for
other breeders to know what is going on in the industry related to breeding results
or breeders behavior. There are two reasons we avoid certain genetics.
Have had bad experience with results or know of breeders that had bad experiences
The breeder has a bad reputation for not being honest, falsifying pedigrees, or benefiting
from politics in shows.
It really does not matter how good a breeder's animals are. If they fall into the
breeder with a bad reputation category, we will not purchase their genetics or recommend
them to anyone else.
There are several examples of where we have seen poor results from a specific bloodline
that caused us to stay away from them.
We were at a sale where we saw the highest selling buck we have ever seen and a large
number of does bred to him. The claim was the cross between the buck and the does
was an excellent match that had been producing great results. We purchased two bred
does. None of the kids were quality we would keep and the buck kids were either wethered
or taken to a general sale barn. The next breeding season, we bred the same does
to Xtender and had much better kids. The buyer of the buck was never really successful
and got out of the Boer goat industry in the next 1-2 years. .
We have bred some of our Does to several ABGA National Grand Champion bucks. None
of their offspring were kept in our breeding program for more than one breeding.
We had a friend purchase many embryos from one of the most advertised bucks we have
seen. Several years later, they had a dispersal sale and we asked them if there were
any of that genetics in the sale. They said no, that the kids had so many cull factors
that they got rid of all of them.
We had a different friend that bred to a National Champion Buck. They were very disappointed
that many of the doe kids had teat problems and most of the kids were very light
on their pigment. When the owner of the buck called to see how the kids turned out,
the owner asked them if they had any teat problems. The owner confessed that they
had many teat problems also.
After being in the industry for a while, watching and talking to other breeders,
specific genetics will come up that breeders want to stay clear of no matter how
many awards and shows they have won.
We will not support any breeder that has not been honest with the industry. Here
are some of the examples that have resulted in our staying away from specific breeder
There was a major breeder that was caught putting incorrect "date of birth" on pedigrees
so their young kids would be able to compete with younger kids in the 0-3 or 3-6
month old classes. They had stated to other breeders that you have to do that if
you really want to rack up show points fast. The association removed them from the
association and from being an ABGA judge. Unfortunately, the very next week after
being removed from the association, they went to a show and was one of the major
winners. The association had no rules that would keep the person from showing even
though they were no longer in the association and had knowingly put incorrect info
on the pedigree. The association ended up creating a new rule to help prevent breeders
like that from showing their animals in the future. Unfortunately, all the breeder
did was put the animals in one of their families name and continued to show. If that
breeder was to offer us the greatest animal in the world for free, we would not accept
Another breeder was accused of changing the bloodlines in a pedigree a year after
selling the animal. This was done without the buyer ever being told by the original
breeder or the association that the change had been made.
Several breeders that do natural flushes, were found to have kids date of births
varying more than 30 days a part. It was believed that not all of the kids really
came from the doe. They were just listed as coming from the doe to help gather show
points for Ennobling the doe.
Some breeders have been known to register a fullblood doe as a percentage doe so
the doe could show against potentially lower quality animals.
All of the names of those type of breeders are in the back of our mind and we will
not purchase or utilize any of the genetics that are associated with them. Each breeder
must determine if they want to use those genetics or support breeders that have a
reputation for not being honest with the industry.
Annual Evaluation and Culling
One other item that is critical in our genetics evaluation is related to worm resistance
and low maintenance requirements. Here is a link to a section on our web site that
discusses our High Maintenance Evaluation.
Once a year, we will look through our monthly health checks and determine if any
of our animals have shown signs of having more worm problems than others or if any
animals had shown more resistance to worms. Any animals having more worm problems
than the normal herd will be culled. Any animals showing high resistance to worms
and/or producing offspring with high resistance to worms will be put at the top of
our "keep list". We also track animals requiring their hooves to be trimmed. Any
animal requiring excessive hoof trimming will be culled. Finally, we will look at
the animals according to how well they meet our Ideal Animal model or produce kids
that move closer to the model. Each year, we will also keep the breeding animals
that are doing the best toward meeting the model. We will also select a few of our
good does that are still in prime breeding age and healthy and offer them for sell.
This is done to make space for the new up and coming kids that show potential for
improving our overall breeding herd potential. We focus on trying to only keep around
30 breeding does and 10-15 young doe kids for the next season. We have been happy
with the way our herd quality has continued to improve but each year, we will review
our genetic selection criteria to see if we need to make any changes according to
how well we are doing related to reaching our goals.
How We Select the Genetics for Our Herd
By Jack Mauldin December 22, 2009
Occasionally we are asked how we select new genetics to add to our breeding herd.
First I would like to say we have no expertise related to selecting genetics that
will result in the best outcome. We have been raising boer goats for around 12 years
but had no experience in breeding and raising other animals prior to entering the
Boer industry. We entered the Boer industry after 30 years of working in the Computer
industry where my main skills were developing and implementing technology strategies
for business, analyzing and resolving business problems, analyzing and developing/improving
business processes. So we approach selecting genetics for improving our herd differently
than many others do but we are happy with the process and the results. Therefore
we are happy to share how we have evolved our process of selecting the genetics that
go into our herd and why we reject other genetics. The major categories of our selective
process includes the following:
Developing a clear goal for what type of business we want to focus on. The goal will
continue to guide us through all other activities and keep us on the right track.
Have a clear understanding of what we think an "ideal animal" would look like and
we could financially justify each of the characteristics making up that ideal animal
that would ensure we would be able to successfully reach our goal.
Research which animals in the industry could be help us move toward breeding the
"ideal animal" for our specific goal.
Research which animals and/or breeders in the industry we want to avoid.
Annual herd evaluation and adjustments
Our main goals are focused around features that ensure top quality meat producers
requiring minimum maintenance. You can read more details about our goals at "Our
Ideal Animal Model
A breeder needs to have a clear understanding of what an Ideal animal would look
like so they will know how to evaluate features in current and future animals in
their herd. Here are two links that discuss how we have determined what our ideal
animal would look like.
There is a very interesting article of the Goat Rancher magazine - September, 2009
issue. The article "A study of the S.A. breed standards" was written by Cathie Keblinger
of Seven-A Plus Ranch. She obtained two important documents that came from the South
African Boer Goat Breeders Association, the breeders that developed the Boer breed
over the last70+ years. The two books, that we are trying to obtain a copy of, are
SA Boer Goat, the Ideal
A Study of the SA Boer Goat - 2006
The first thing that caught my eye was the drawing by the SA breeders of what they
believe would be the IDEAL buck and doe. Cathie writes in the article that the books
use these drawings and then go into the potential problems that can be caused by
breeding animals too shallow, too short or too long. It is interesting that the US
Boer industry started out with the same standards as the SA and have changed them
very little but there has been a dramatic difference in the body style coming from
several of the top breeders winning in the show ring. There has been no justification
for the changes in the US. The SA have documented, in detail, what the breed should
look like and what kind of problems may result in breeding for a different style.
I believe it is important for all breeders to consider what the South African breeders
are striving for and the justifications they have stated for creating the IDEAL BUCKS
and DOES. The US industry's justification seems to be in creating long, lean show
wethers that sell for high prices.