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Boer Goat

Youth & OPEN Show

Youth Show: Wednesday, March 5 8 a.m. Open Show: Thursday, March 6 8 a.m. Location: Reliant Center, East Arena Open Show Entry Deadline: Jan. 5, 2014 Late Entry Deadline: Feb. 15, 2014 livestock@rodeohouston.com 832.667.1125

MARCH 4-23,



www.abga.org | 3
































*EC denotes Executive Committee member


Letter From the PRESIDENT

November/December 2013

To our Members: This Board is dedicated to serving the best interests of the American Boer Goat Association, the Boer goat industry and you, our members. We are trying to change a tradition of poor communication and ask your patience as we make changes. While we want to include member input, please remember that contacting your director is your first step toward having your voice heard, and that there will be times we make decisions in the best interest of our association without consulting you. Please know, however, that our intent is to keep you informed and seek your input where appropriate. We have already taken steps to address your concerns about slow turnaround time on paper work in the ABGA office. Paperwork is being handled efficiently now, in spite of an aniquated database system that throws up road blocks at every turn. Our staff is being reorganized and we hired additional personnel in order to insure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. We are also making changes to assist them to do their jobs without undue stress and effort. For the first time in many years, your Board constructed a survey that allowed for member input. We utilized much of your input when we formulated the changes to the Rule 1400. We have received several emails regarding the website, and our IT committee will be reviewing them as we continue to address deficiencies in our website, office procedures, communication, and registration system. We would like to let you know about steps we have already taken in our move to improve the American Boer Goat Association. 1. We are in the process of purchasing land on which to build a new ABGA office. 2. We have contracted with the necessary personnel to design and construct a new building. 3. We formed an IT Committee that has researched other associations and how they handle their registration systems. As a result of their report after consulting with several livestock associations, we are moving the ABGA database from Australia to the United States and we will have full control of it so that road blocks will no longer occur.

AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION STAFF 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C | San Angelo, TX 76903 Mary Ellen Villarreal, Office Operations Supervisor, mary@abga.org Laurie Evans, Administrative Assistant, laurie@abga.org Sonia Cervantez, Accounting, sonia@abga.org Dee Ann Torres, Registration Support Staff, deeann@abga.org Aaron Gillespie, Show Coordinator/Youth Coordinator, aaron@abga.org ABGA Office Hours Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (CST)


4. We are in the process of planning for a newly designed website that will be fully integrated with our new database and while it may not be ready next month, it is already in the early stages of design. 5. In the interim, we have designated someone to work with the current website and EDJE, the company that hosts it, to do a few updates and reorganizations to make it more useful, easier to navigate, and allow for better sharing of information with our Members. This will happen in the next two weeks. 6. We are taking steps to insure that members without internet access receive important information about our actions. While it is not feasible for this to be done every time we take action on an item, we expect to be able to include a news sheet each year with the annual membership renewal packet. 7. Beginning immediately, the Agenda for Board meetings will be published on the ABGA website 2 weeks prior to scheduled meetings. 8. The minutes of meetings will continue to be published after they are approved. Please remember that minutes are not approved until the next meeting.

Table of Contents 9. I am taking steps to insure that board meetings are run in a civil manner. While heated discussion can occur, and are expected due to the diversity of the directors, uncontrolled outbursts from directors that disrupt the meeting will no longer be tolerated. While members are welcome to attend our board meetings, please remember that members are in attendance at the invitation of the board and should their behavior in any way interfere with the meeting, they will be escorted from the room.


10. We have added new people to the judges committee and their agenda is to bring consistency to the judging school and the criteria used by judges in the show ring. This committee will investigate the suggestions made by several members and once we have a better idea of what can and can’t be done, we will communicate that to members. When there are concrete updates to our actions, I will be sure to inform you, our members. Please allow us to do the work we have set out to do, and give us the benefit of the doubt, until we can prove to you that we intend to fulfill our obligations as your directors.




Brad Mackey, President ABGA Board of Directors Š Copyright 2103 American Boer Goat Association



This issue’s cover photo was submitted by Hannah Gill, a 14-year-old who has been involved with 4-H and the Boer goat industry for 5 years. Her operation, Sunset Rock Boer Goats, has raised the Grand Champion Market Goat and Jr. Champion Goat Bred and Fed at her local fair. She has also bred Grand and Reserve Champions Boer goats at various fairs around Rhode Island. She picked up Bella, this flashy fullblood doe from Antelope Creek Ranch when she traveled to San Angelo, Texas for the JABGA Leadership Conference. WANT TO SEE YOUR PHOTO ON OUR COVER?


We are still compiling entries for our next cover photo! You still have a shot at YOUR photo being the cover of the January/ February issue of The Boer Goat!




ENCORE VISIONS CONTACT Kelli Chapman PO Box 917 Aspermont, TX 79502 Toll Free 877-822-3016 (f) 806-398-9047 JOGP!UIFCPFSHPBUNBHB[JOFDPN

PUBLISHER Jackie Lackey, INC. Jackie Lackey, Editor-in-chief & creative director KBDLJF!FODPSFWJTJPOTDPN CREATIVE TEAM Robyn Amthauer Jamie Banbury

Allyson McGuire Sarah Vachlon

www.abga.org | 5


AffiliatesProgram Program Affiliates The ABGA affiliate program is a partnership between regional goat clubs and ABGA. With the rapid growth in the meat goat industry, the local meat goat and Boer goat clubs have an increased role of education, marketing and promotion. These local groups provide an essential role in promoting the industry and educating breeders. In 2004, ABGA began development of a program to aid, assist and work together with local clubs. The objectives of the AGBA affiliate program include: t1SPWJEFBEEJUJPOBMSFTPVSDFTBUUIFMPDBMDMVCTMFWFM t1SPWJEFOFUXPSLJOHPQQPSUVOJUJFTGPSUIFMPDBMDMVCT t"UUSBDUBOESFUBJOHPBUQSPEVDFST t"TTJTUXJUIFEVDBUJPOBMPQQPSUVOJUJFT t1SPWJEFBNFUIPEGPSHSBTTSPPUTJOQVUGSPNMPDBMDMVCT

East Texas Goat Raisers Association (ETGRA) (ETGRA)

Alabama Meat MeatGoat Goatand andSheep Sheep Producers Producers

Andrea Thompson PO Box 2614 Jacksonville, TX 75766 doorslammer440@aol.com www.etgra.com

Mitt Walker Nathan Jaeger P.O. Box11000 1100 PO Box Montgomery, AL 36191 mwalker@alfafarmers.org njaeger@alfafarmers.org Serving States: AL

Iowa Meat Goat Association

Boer Goat Association of North Carolina

Cathy Van Wyhe 625 472nd Ave Grinnell, IA 50112 rcvanwyhe@iowatelecom.net www.iowameatgoat.com Serving States: IA, MO, IL, MN

Tall Corn Meat Goat Wether Association Inc. Vern Thorp 1959 Highway 63 New Sharon, IA 50207 Neverthorp@aol.com www.meatgoatwether.com Serving States: IA


Kelly Clark P.O. Box 36497 Greensboro, NC 27416 kellyclark@triad.rr.com

Cascade Boer Goat Association Becki Crighton 14352 W Hwy 12 Touchet, WA 99360 becki@coppercreekboers.com www.cascadebga.org Serving States: OR, WA

Snake River Meat Goat Association Clara Askew 8054 Ustick Rd Nampa, ID 83687 foxtailfarms@hotmail.com www.srmga.com Serving States: ID, WA, OR, NV, UT, WY, MT If you are an officer or a member of a regional goat club, please download an ABGA Affiliate Application for your club today! Forms can be found online at www.abga.org.

Be sure to visit www.abga.com for additional information, updates and a complete year’s calendar of upcoming shows and events. Don’t see your event listed? Please contact the ABGA at 325.486.2242


NOVEMBER November 8-9 Northern Exposure ABGA Show

Orland, CA

Natalie Reis


November 9

National Peanut Festival

Dothan, AL

Nelson Adams


November 16

LMGA Fall Show

Crowley, LA

Cliff Hebert


November 21


Louisville, KY

Jeff Zinner


November 30

Scholarship Fundraiser

Crowley, LA

Cliff Hebert


DECEMBER December 7

Washita Valley Holiday Lights

Pauls Valley, OK

Marciette Lucas


December 14

Winter Blast

Brenham, TX

Robin Walters



Don’t forget... Submit your event to the ABGA! www.abga.org | 7


judges contact information ALABAMA Wess Hallman


OHIO Mike Borsch Kent Davidson

ovf@ohiovalleyboers.com davidson@metalink.net

ARKANSAS Mark A. Berry David Carwell

berrysghfarm@gmail.com davidcarwell87@hotmail.com

COLORADO Scott T. Pruett


Reggie Phillips


FLORIDA Julie Brown


OKLAHOMA Bryan Berhard Jeremy Church Mike Cothran Ron Dilley Tom Dugas Kay Garrett Brandon Morgan Phil Stacy Joe Teel

bryan.berhard@okstate.edu purch_24@hotmail.com mnkxtremeboers@yahoo.com rdbgfarm@aol.com tom@padk.com kewlkay@hotmail.com bmorgan@newcastle.k12.ok.us stacygoats@gcrosstel.net joe@teelshowgoats.com

GEORGIA Sylvester Ridings Troy Veal*

3bll@bellsouth.net tvanveal@yahoo.com

OREGON Shelby Armstrong Josh Taylor

Shelbyarmstrong1@gmail.com taylors_ajs@rocketmail.com

laryduncan@att.net jessekimmel@hotmail.com redgate@hoosierinternet.com onrbg@yahoo.com boergoat@comcast.net


KANSAS Dr. Brian R. Faris


LOUISIANA Chris Shaffett


MARYLAND Robert Dinsmore


MISSISSIPPI Kipp Brown Jesse J. Cornelius

kippb@ext.msstate.edu jcornelius@nettleton.k12.ms.us

MISSOURI David “Chip” Kemp Beth Walker

kempd@missouri.edu ewalker@missouristate.edu

NORTH CAROLINA Brent Jennings Roger McSwain John Tart III Anton Ward


Timothy D. Snowden Kyle Strickland

timothy@snowdenfamilyfarm.com Monty.k.strickland@verizon.com

Jack Talley Terry Taylor Warren Thigpen Charles Turner Mike Wallace Robert Washington Cheryl L. Wright

jmtboers@wtconnect.com ttaylor.ie@gmail.com w-thigpen@tamu.edu turnerlivestock@wildblue.net txsaggie94@yahoo.com rkwashington@hughes.net bwright@centex.net


brent_jennings@ncsu.edu rogermcswain@hotmail.com jltart@ncsu.edu wardanton@aol.com


SOUTH CAROLINA Kathy Daves- Carr


MEXICO Marcus De Luna


TENNESSEE Pit Kemmer Lance Ward*

pkemmer@frontiernet.net donaldlanceward@hotmail.com

IOWA Douglas D. Glosser

glen@rangercamp.com sistersII@wcc.net powellholman@yahoo.com crranch@moment.net sistersII@wcc.net CLSeely@ag.tamu.edu boers@xsranch.com

David Carter

INDIANA Lary Duncan Jesse Kimmel Anita Messer Sherri L. Stephens Jeff Thomas

Glen Martin Beth Mason Claire Powell Coni Ross Becky Sauder Charles Seely MD Shurley

TEXAS R. Glenn Avriett Terry Blair Ray Bolinger Joetta Boyd Michelle Compton Dr. Frank Craddock Robert Duke Sr. Jackie Edwards John Edwards Larry Epting Preston Faris Lynn Farmer Barney Fowler Dr. Randy Harp Cade Halfmann Kurt Henry Eddie Holland Dr. Fred C. Homeyer Jared Jackson Norman Kohls** Josh Lackey DVM Kyran Larner Bruce Lott

gavriett@yahoo.com 325-944-3579 (home) rayb.one@sbcglobal.net bgr@wtconnect.com raftercboers@aol.com b-craddock@tamu.edu bdukegoats@gmail.com eggstx@aol.com eggstx@aol.com larry.epting@oncor.com prfaris@sonoratx.net lynfar@centex.net 432-523-2066 (home) harp@tarleton.edu 432-270-5565 (cell) waylocattle@yahoo.com eholland@ctesc.net ancreek@yahoo.com jjackson@tarleton.edu nandkranch@aol.com lackeydr@fivearea.com kyranlarner@yahoo.com lott.bruce@aaa-texas.com

Note: There are three categories, * indicates inspections only for judges, who do inspections and do not judge shows; ** indicates judges only, who judge shows and do not do inspections. All others inspect for ennoblement and judge shows














www.abga.org | 9

Editor’s UPDATE Hello ABGA members and supporters of The Boer Goat! You will notice some changes to this issue as we transition into a bigger and better 2014. We are implementing an “announcements and reminders” section in each issue like you will find on page 9. We will also include the ABGA judges listing, as well as several columns from industry leaders including Dr. Frank Pinkerton. A heath care question and answer column will also be added to the “regulars”. Please don’t hesitate to submit your health care questions to us! We are also working with the Board of Directors to provide you with interesting and relevant feature stories. With that said, suggestions on what you would like to see are always welcomed, and appreciated! Also, stay tuned for print and web advertising packages for 2014 as well. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and safe and happy New Year, and look forward to improving The Boer Goat in 2014!

Kelli Chapman Editor

from the desk of

by Darlene Baker



An explanation of the board of directors’ decision


he American Boer Goat Association was formed in 1993, the same year the first Boer goats entered the United States, and has been registering percentage does ever since. The paperwork for full blood and percentage Boer goats has always been kept separate. Prior to 1997, full blood papers were purple and gold and percentage papers were red, white and blue. Since January 1, 1997 the ABGA has been issuing papers that are maroon and white for full blood Boer goats and blue and white for percentage Boer goats. American Purebred Boer Goats have black and white papers. Different computer programs are used to maintain the database of registration records. In 2010, the BOD discussed allowing percentage does from matings between a crossbred buck and full blood doe


to be registered as half bloods. While the main discussion was on breed standards, the issues were explored at length at that time. The ABGA BOD has never discussed or even considered allowing percentage bucks to be registered before they reach the American purebred status of 96.8% Boer. Most Boer goats and embryos were imported to the United States through Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Embryos were also imported from South Africa. There were only two groups of live Boer goats brought in directly from South Africa. One of the purposes behind importing the Boers was to improve the meat goat in the United States. This had already been done in several other countries. At about the same time the Boer goats came here the wool subsidy was discontinued and the Angora producers were left with no market. The Boer goats were bred to other

7KHSHUFHQWDJHUHJLVWU\EURDGHQVWKHVFRSHRIWKH%RHULQ³XHQFH and helps promote the registration and tracking of pedigrees of JRDWVWKDWZRXOGRWKHUZLVHEHUDQGRPO\EUHGZLWKRXWUHJDUGWR EORRGOLQHV7KLVHQDEOHVSURGXFHUVWRVHOHFWIRUWKRVHWUDLWVWKH\ need to improve their bloodlines. breeds, initially to the Sannans, and later to the Angora and Spanish goats to improve their fertility and meat production. This is why the percentage Boer goat registry exists. The percentage registry broadens the scope of the Boer influence and helps promote the registration and tracking of pedigrees of goats that would otherwise be randomly bred without regard to bloodlines, which is what happened to the Spanish goats. This enables producers to select for those traits they need to improve their bloodlines. It also serves the commercial market in a world where quantity is becoming necessary in order to supply enough food for an ever growing population. The crossbred does that have been bred to full blood bucks were sired by crossbred bucks. This in part, is the reasoning behind the recent decision by the ABGA BOD.

decent mama and, secondly, she would be eligible for upgrading to achieve, finally, an American purebred Boer. Each mating of purebreds on crossbreds results in less improvement per generation. F-1s are better performers than F-2 which are in turn better performers than F-3. “ Dr. Tatiana L. Stanton, a goat geneticist at Cornell University agreed that reciprocal crosses are very similar. She went on to say, “Of course you have switched which breed in the first generation that you are getting the maternal effects from versus which breed you are getting the paternal effects from. If you feel like you have lost some of the milk production you originally had in your herd than using a dairy breed buck or a dairy breed cross buck may be the easiest way to get it back into an entire herd quickly. Prior to this ruling there was no way to get it back without getting the offspring kicked out of the registry. In some selection plans, a breeder might be trying to lock in (“fix”) some effect they are wanting from the sire’s breed (for example parasite resistance) into their  “Boer” gene pool and would need lots of F1 individuals, etc. to play around with. If you have a lot of Boer does the fastest way to get F1s or F2s to breed them to a buck of another breed or to a crossbred buck rather than selling all your Boer does and going out and getting a bunch of Kikos or something to breed to your far fewer number of Boer bucks to. Also, now and then we get that really outstanding 94% Boer buck who can’t be used to produce registerable offspring on your Boer does even though in a dairy goat registry he would be close enough to a full blood to be allowed to father American Purebred kids, etc. I would tend to say that this decision also gives commercial breeders who still want to be able to record their kids with ABGA more tools for their genetic selection programs and hence might be beneficial to them.

“The hybrid vigor that can be realized from mating full blood does with outcross bucks can be substantial.” Dr. Fred Homeyer

Shon Callahan, who has a full blood Boer goat operation, is the director who proposed this change in the rules at the last face-toface BOD meeting. He had received numerous requests from members in his region to bring the matter before the BOD. He said that since we already have percentage does whose dams were sired by crossbred or other breed bucks, it seemed reasonable to allow the reciprocal breeding.

When asked about this decision, Dr. Fred Homeyer, who judges Boer goat shows in other countries as well as being an ABGA licensed judge, said he proposed the idea at the national meeting over ten years ago, maybe almost twenty years ago. “The membership did not realize the value of this at that time and I am glad to see that the Board of Directors has finally come around on this issue. The hybrid vigor that can be realized from mating full blood does with outcross bucks can be substantial.” Dr. Frank Pinkerton, who has written 41 articles on meat goat production, had the following observations: “Using a crossbred buck (especially one with no Boer genes) would likely produce crossbred doelings that would be an improvement over their dams. If so, then back-crossing with a good full blood Boer buck would probably produce a worthy female offspring... her worthiness would have two aspects: first, she would likely be a

The American Boer Goat Association enacted this rule change at the September face-to-face meeting. The office has finished adjustments to the registry database program and trial runs are complete. The percentage Boer doe registry was opened to registrations of does born from matings between crossbred bucks and full blood does on October 13, 2013. www.abga.org | 11



Expanding legendary lines: FROM HEREFORD CATTLE TO BOER GOATS


he name had no significant meaning at the time. Back in the 1950s, as Harvey Duncan and his sons stood in line alphabetically to collect their make entries at the county fair, he figured out the closer their farm name was to the beginning of the alphabet, the less time they’d have to wait. Not wanting to waste any time, he quickly came up with Able Acres. The name stuck, and is still associated with the Polled Hereford cattle and –more recently – the Boer goats the Duncan family raises on Harvey’s son Lawrence’s homestead outside of Wingate, Ind. Down a bumpy gravel road, just a few miles from where much of the movie Hoosiers was filmed, there’s a panoramic view of a pristine white farmhouse and cherry red barns. Red and white livestock dot their pastures. What started out as a time-saving measure for Harvey Duncan has turned into a family name synonymous with the legacy of quality livestock genetics.

BUILDING THE HERD Naturally, since he was young, Lary Duncan’s life has revolved around cattle. The oldest son of Lawrence, he says his parents would expect him and his four siblings to help market their cattle at the shows and sales they attended. The Duncan family still maintains a 150-head cow Hereford herd. They’ll hold their 41st annual production sale in November. However, the goats have quickly kept pace. “My brother complains that we don’t have a cattle barn that doesn’t have goats in it,” Lary smiles. When he had a son of his own – Nathan, now 21 –he wanted him to grow up around livestock and learn the business skills were the building blocks of Lary and his siblings’ own success.

hedgehogs. He utilized his business knowledge to sell them online. As the Duncan kids started to become involved showing goats, he saw a profit opportunity to breed and sell them. “Based on our early success selling goats we imported from the Southwest, we realized there weren’t enough good genetics to meet demand.” With both of their kids invested, Lary and Gary teamed up to start Able Acres Boer goat division. Today, they each keep their own separate herds but sell all of their stock under the farm name. Gary, his wife Sandy, and their family breed goats on their farm eight miles from the main farm. At the homestead, Lary manages the other operation owned by Nathan, who is currently in college in Oregon. With Nathan and Lary’s enterprise, five goats were purchased in the early ’00s and became the building blocks to start Nathan’s herd. One of original purchases, BNZ Lydia went on to be named the national champion at the ABGA and JABGA shows in 2005. From her line, the herd grew substantially, Lary says. Around that time, he left the automotive industry and returned to the family’s grain, cattle – and now goat – farm full-time. Today, between Gary and his family and Lary and Nathan, they maintain 600-700 goats, selling coast to coast 365 days a year. Lary believes it’s the attention to superior customer service and knowledge of genetics passed down through the Duncan generations that has helped Able Acres to develop a reputation. However, he admits some success has resulted from being in the right place at the right time. LEARNING THE BUSINESS Learning through experience has helped the Duncans assist their customers.

Nathan started out with pet fainting goats. He and his cousin Caleb took a liking to the animals, so when they were both old enough for 4-H in the early ’00s, they began to show Boer goats.

“We have an ongoing relationship with everyone we sell to,” Larry says. “You don’t just sell them an animal, you sell them a service.”

Lary’s past animal expertise wasn’t just limited to farm livestock – he also raised exotic animals, from emu to

Taking the time to maintain relationships has been key to their success, Lary says. In fact, some days he spends upwards


Nathan’s most recent winner 2013 ABGA Overall National Grand Champion doe of six hours on the phone talking to prospective buyers and assisting present customers. Also, the little things like working out transportation to get the product to the customer helps business, he adds. When they first started in the goats twelve years ago, Lary and Gary bought around 25 does out of Texas. Then they did what they did with their cattle. “We washed, clipped and pictured them. Gary was enterprising enough to build us a website to sell them on,” Lary says. He continues that he can remember when the demand for full-blooded goats was so high, people would visit their site every day to see what was new, and many times they would sell within seconds of listing. “Because they were so hard to find and we were in an area that was growing the fastest (the Midwest), being in the right place at the right time covered our early mistakes,” he says. EVOLUTION OF THE BOER GOAT In their beginning days, Lary says the majority of U.S. goats were plainer and not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But he and Gary had spent their lives evaluating cattle. They suspected the Boer goat show market was going to take off, so they built their herd like they bred their cattle.

“We didn’t even read the breed standards right away. Our original selections were made by picking goats the way we liked our cattle to look.” he says. “Soon after, we read the standards, went to bigger shows, made a lot of trips back and forth to Texas. A lot of the big farms took us under their wing. We tried to mix the original breed standards with show appeal.” As showing livestock has become more popular, Lary says he’s seen the Boer goat industry change. The original South African Boer goats were brought into the U.S. to improve the country’s meat goat population. However, they rapidly became fashionable in the show ring, although the early animals were more production oriented. As with cattle and other livestock, they’ve been ‘Americanized’ over time to make a prettier, more show-oriented animal. The Boer goats rise in popularity can be linked directly to their status as show animals, Lary says. He attributes this in due in part to the ease and start-up cost in the project – you can compete without big money, land and equipment – and the level of comfort with a smaller animal. There’s also been a crossover from other show industries, he adds. Kids who used to show other species want to show goats too. This has been true in his family, he says. Many of the nieces and nephews who grew up with cattle are now showing goats too. www.abga.org | 13

LEFT: 2005 AABG & JABGA National Overall Grand Champion doe and foundation doe for Nathan Duncan

REDEFINING SUCCESS Even though Lary has a knack for business, he says his decision to return home and expand the goats wasn’t because of the money. Nathan still maintains ownership of their share of the goats, and it was something they could do together. Although he’s proud of the multiple champion titles they’ve produced or sold that have won at Ft. Worth, Louisville and the ABGA national shows, it’s not just about winning either. And it’s certainly not about less work. Lary says on a good day, it takes a typical twelve-hour workday to get all the goats fed and pens cleaned. Someone can easily spend two weeks a month just trimming feet. And he does that while spending an average of six hours on the phone daily with customers. “The first couple times kidding sets of 50, we didn’t know what time or even what day it was,” he says. While business has been good, Lary forsees scaling back on numbers for the future, ideally producing around 100 kids a year. That will allow him to keep the highest quality product and free up a little more time for showing. 14 | THE BOER GOAT

With several of Lary’s nieces and nephews (Harvey’s greatgrandchildren) actively showing Boer goats, cattle and pigs, chances are he will spend a lot of time at the show ring sidelines. That’s what it’s always been about, and he sees that continuing. Drive down any back road in the counties that border Able Acres. If there’s a pasture full of Hereford cows, chances are they’re Duncan stock. Thanks to Lary and Gary and their families, the same is now true of Boer goats. The other brothers, David and Andy, both manage the cattle. David handles the main Hereford herd, along with his dad. Andy maintains separate commercial and Simmental lines. The only sister, Caril, lives in Kansas City with her family. Her children have ownership in Duncan Hereford blood. Whether it be grain farming, raising goats, cattle or something else, Lary believes there will be a Duncan involved in agriculture for years to come. “In life, you come and you go. I went away for years. But home is still home, and I was pulled back to it. I have it in my blood.”

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www.abga.org | 15



Just Kidding: DOE HEALTH AND ABORTION CAUSES aising goats is an exciting, fun and profitable practice that many enjoy around the country and world. Unfortunately, it does come with its own set of difficulties. Although not extremely common, does can abort the fetus at some point during the pregnancy, which can be both disheartening and bad for a farm’s bottom line.


are not as common. Beyond diseases, many other factors can cause a doe to miscarry or abort.

“Sometimes, no matter how much care we give to a doe, she may miscarry or abort,” said Shellie Laflin, DVM and associate professor at Kansas State Veterinary College.

In addition to stress, moldy hay/feed, incorrect use of medications, malformed fetuses or even injury can cause a doe to abort. In order to prevent abortion in does, vets and seasoned producers recommend using best practices to keep the herd safe. Dr. Laflin said that a good biosecurity plan is essential.

Does can abort for many reasons, and vets have varying opinions on what is the most common. Dr. Lionel Dawson, B.V.SC, MS, DACT, said that he sees late-term abortions during the last month of pregnancy the most, and that the majority of them are infectious. Dawson is a professor at Oklahoma State University and is the veterinarian for Langston University’s 1600-head goat herd.

“Stress plays a big part,” Laflin said. “Even the stress from a snowstorm can cause a doe to abort as they depend entirely on their corpus luteum to maintain the pregnancy, and any stress can cause the corpus luteum to lyse or disappear.”

“Sometimes, no matter how much care we give to a doe, she may miscarry or abort.”

A large number of diseases can cause abortion, but Laflin, who specializes in small ruminants, said that Chlamydia and Campylobacter are the most prevalent.

Jack Mauldin, who runs a goat breeding operation in Ector, Texas, prevents an outbreak of disease on his farm by not allowing outside breeding. He and his wife, Anita, own all of their does and bucks and do not allow others to bring in their breeding animals. Mauldin said that once the disease is introduced into a herd, it can be devastating.

Dr. Shellie Laflin

“Those are the only two that we can vaccinate against, and they are ones that I see the most.” she said. Chlamydial abortion is one of the most common causes of infectious abortion in goats. Pigeons and sparrows may be the carrier of the organism that causes Chlamydia, and ticks or insects may play a role in the transmission. Non-pregnant does may become infected, but the organism can stay dormant creating little or no immune response. Other diseases that can cause abortion include Toxoplasmosis, Listeriosis, Q Fever and Salmonella, but they 16 | THE BOER GOAT

“When you purchase or receive new animals, keep them quarantined for 30 days,” she said. “If they are harboring any bacteria, you will know within that time period and will be able to take the proper action without endangering your herd.”

“If you start having disease go through your herd, you can lose a lot of your breeding stock very quickly,” he said. “We have always have ran our farm that way in order to prevent disease, and it has worked well so far.” Dawson, who is originally from Burma, also suggested a strict biosecurity program. “Producers should keep pregnant does separate from the herd, follow a good vaccination program and aim to decrease stress in the pregnant herd.”

Once an abortion is detected in a doe, producers and vets alike suggest taking preventative steps to safeguard the rest of the herd. “Whether it’s because we have had a doe abort or we have had a doe give birth to a dead kid, we implement a preventative plan immediately,” Mauldin said. “It can never hurt; I’d rather be safe than sorry.” Mauldin’s preventative plan includes administering antibiotics, specifically Bio Mycin 200, 30 days before breeding and then again three months after breeding. He does not just give antibiotics to the does. “We give the Bio Mycin 200 to all of our bucks, too,” Mauldin said. “They can bring in the infection just as easily and distribute it to all of the does he breeds, possibly causing an abortion storm.” An abortion rate in excess of 10% is considered an abortion storm. Abortion storms can turn the most enjoyable part of the livestock production cycle into a nightmare. Recognizing the problem quickly, involving a veterinarian immediately, pursuing diagnostic testing and implementing treatment and sanitation steps can stop some storms in their tracks, minimizing their potentially devastating impact on the farm. In addition to protecting the herd, the doe who has just aborted needs special care in order to keep the herd healthy and ready her for future kidding. “You certainly need to isolate the goat who aborted from the rest of the pregnant animals as soon as possible,” Laflin said. “Immediately, remove the fetus and placenta from the environment where the other preg does are; it contains a lot of the bacteria.” Dawson, whose current research focus is small ruminant production medicine and management said to wear gloves when handling the discharge and afterbirth and to submit the samples (fresh fetus, afterbirth and blood) for diagnosis at the local veterinarian or nearby veterinary college.

“Most of the infectious abortions are zoonotic and can be transferred to humans,” he said. “So the people handling these does and the samples should protect themselves.” Dawson said it is somewhat difficult to detect abortion in does. “Most of them will not show any signs,” he said. “Some of them will have bloody discharge and abortions within 12 hours.” Depending on the cause, he said that the signs or symptoms can be different. “Chlamydia is the most common bacteria causing abortions late term and may exhibit with abortion storms,” Dawson said. “Some does will have a normal kid along with a mummified fetus. In toxoplasma-infected does, you might see a high number of mummified fetuses. If you see abortions with skeletal defects or that are deformed, it could be caused by viruses or ingestion of certain plants early in pregnancy.” He said that does sometimes are sick and go off feed before they abort. Laflin agreed that sickness in does should be noted. “If a doe presents as sick, you should be wary,” she said. “Some do, and some don’t, but you certainly want to be ready if you’re going to have a problem on your hands.” On Mauldin’s farm, they sonogram their does at the beginning of pregnancy. “If we notice a bloody discharge, we sonogram again and if the doe is no longer pregnant, then we employ the treatment preventive plan then,” he said. Dawson said that producers should make sure they treat the doe who has aborted. “Producers should treat the aborted doe with a tetracycline like LA 200,” he said. “If it is an abortion outbreak, start the flock on tetracycline in the feed or injectables till you get results from the samples submitted.”



Clinical Associate Professor Agricultural Practices at Kansas State University RIGHT:


Professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Oklahpma State University www.abga.org | 17



THE BIRTHING PROCESS What to Expect When your Doe is Expecting The kidding process is no joke.


hen a pregnant doe is separated from the herd and laying down off by herself, it’s probably time to prepare for the birth of her kids. And it’s serious business.

Mark Swening, a veterinarian in Coleman, Texas, has birthed Boer goats for 26 years. He also raises goats himself, so his experience and knowledge of the kidding process not only helps his clients but also hits home when kidding season begins. Swening says there can be a string of problems related to kidding that a person should be aware of. Recognizing the signs and being proactive can mean avoiding the loss of a kid, a situation no goat breeder wants to have happen. Location, location When the time is near, a doe will move off by herself and lay far from the flock. Swening says putting them in a 5’ x 5’ kidding pen, or jug, will accomplish several goals. Being able to observe the process is important, so that if there is a problem the owner can easily access the animal. Once the baby is born, having the doe penned is ideal so the owner can be sure the kid is nursing and receiving all-important colostrum. “It’s really important to observe them nursing,” Swening says. “Also, if there are problems with delivery, having the animal in a jug is critical to be able to get to it faster. During the winter months, owners can avoid hypothermia, which is a huge problem in goats. Just penning the pregnant doe accomplishes a lot.” When a set of multiples are born, it can also be necessary to graft a kid onto another doe. Utilizing kidding pens is a great way to do so, he says. This can be successful if the owner places reproductive fluid on the surrogate mother to encourage her to accept the newborn kid. After the birth, it’s important to disinfect the pen using a solution like Clorox to kill bacteria. Swening says most does seem to start kidding when it’s a seemingly inconvenient time for owners, but he does offer a trick to predict their timing. 18 | THE BOER GOAT

“If you feed the animal late at night – like 9 p.m. – and keep them in a dry lot during the day, they are most likely to kid during the day time,” he says. “If temperatures are moderate, withholding feed and water during the day can make those does kid at 6 or 7 the next morning.” Setting the Stage Once a doe starts kidding, Swening says it’s important to recognize the stages of labor. The first stage will last two to 12 hours with an average of eight. It’s during this time when she may go off by herself and it’s also when an owner should pen the animal. Physical signs include the doe lifting her tail and showing secretions from her vulva. When she’s in the second stage, Swening says it’s time to intervene. Making this decision too late could mean losing a kid. In two hours time, the doe will be trying to push and the kid will be born. The delivery of the fetus will occur when the doe’s cervix is completely dilated. Following delivery, there is still another labor stage, Swening says. The following six-hour period is when the placenta is expelled. If the placenta is not passed within 12-18 hours following delivery, it is considered retained and the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. The uterus is completely involuted by day 28 post-kidding. Swening says a lambing or kidding kit can help save some babies and save time, rather thans crambling to collect items needed in an emergency. He recommends a bag with a feeding tube and 60-cc syringe, a resuscitator, a head snare, towels, water-based lubricant, Dopram 0.2-0.5 cc to administer sublingually and 7-percent iodine for the navel. New Baby Care After lambing or kidding, the mother should aggressively lick the kid to clean the afterbirth. This contact is very important during the first two hours after kidding. For breeders who kid in the pasture, it’s important not to disturb these animals just after kidding, even with feed or water.

It may seem strange, but Swening says to leave new mothers and kids alone for a while. Once the kid is on the ground and penned, it’s time to treat the baby to ensure it remains healthy. Swening says there are three portals of infection for newborn animals; oral from the environment, respiratory and through the navel cord. Step one is to treat the navel with iodine by dipping it in solution, which is a better method than spraying. The navel cord is an easy portal of infection because DR. MARK SWENING, DVM bacteria can migrate in and Coleman Texas Veterinary Clinic cause infections. Swening suggests using a jar and dipping the navel approximately four inches in, to fully avoid the potential of infection for newborn livestock. The next step is to ensure the baby consumes colostrum. This first milk is critical because it provides essential immunoglobulins that fight off infection. Colostrum also provides a rich source of energy in the form of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin A. Without colostrum, Swening says, the kid could die. “Colostrum is also a rich source of energy, so it’s a good way to jumpstart a baby,” he says. “There are easy ways to get it. You can milk out the mother if the baby is not nursing or if there’s not much quantity. You can also use artificial colostrum replacement.” Knowing the baby has received enough colostrum is also important. Swening says newborns need 10-20 percent of body weight in colostrum during its first 12 hours of life. Babies have the capacity to absorb a large amount of protein until about 24 hours following birth. Even after 12 hours, Swening says, the kid starts to lose capability to absorb proteins. This is why colostrum must be consumed within the first eight to 12 hours. “The bottom line is to get colostrum in them when they are born,” he says. “The formula to remember is 10-12-12, meaning a 10-pound lamb or goat needs 12 ounces of colostrum within 12 hours of birth.” Potential Complications For any species, the birthing process can have complications. With goats, Swening says a common issue is malpresentation where the animal’s head is turned or it’s coming out backward.

It is considered breach when the tail is first and the kid’s back legs are turned forward. Malpresentation can also mean the baby is too big or that the mother’s pelvis is too small to have the baby. Then it’s time to have a C-section. This is why penning the doe before second stage labor is important. “It’s time for an intervention if you’ve been working to solve a malpresentation problem for an hour,” he says. “Then you must get help.” It’s also common to see weak-born kids that won’t stand up and nurse. This occurs when labor has been prolonged or the doe’s temperature is low and hypothermic. It also happens when there are multiple births like twins or triplets and one is too weak to nurse from its mother. Swening says if the baby is born weak, the best action is to tube the kid. This is a simple process of using an 18 French red rubber feed tube and a 60-cc catheter tip syringe. This size of syringe fits well on the feeding tube. Both items can be purchased through a veterinary clinic or veterinary supply store like Nasco. The tube should be pushed down through the esophagus to the animal’s stomach to administer colostrum. “Anyone with goats needs to be able to tube them,” he says. Another kidding problem can be hypothermia or low body temperature. This can be resolved with a heat lamp and a warming blanket, which should be kept on hand when kidding during cold months. Swening says it’s important to avoid using a hot water bottle due to the thermal heat, which can burn them. He recommends heat lamps or ventilated heat as well as warming blankets to avoid the risk of hypothermia. As the new kid consumes colostrum and milk it’s also important to watch for signs of diarrhea. This illness originates from the environment and typically occurs from mid to late kidding and during lambing season, especially when mothers are placed in small environments. Diarrhea can be prevented with good sanitation and disinfectants including bleach or Roccal. A breeder can also vaccinate does or ewes 30 days prior to lambing with an E. coli vaccine. Daily Rewards Swening has worked in veterinary medicine for nearly three decades and has had many clients who raise Boer goats. The best advice he can give is to keep a laboring doe in a pen with the right supplies handy, and to be calm and patient. He also says his practice is a very rewarding thing to be involved with because of its diversity. “I could potentially examine a cow and deliver newborn babies on a goat, do embryo transfer and work on camel all in the same day,” he says. “Kidding is sometimes like Christmas especially if you have bred a new buck or doe. It is exciting and you anticipate a special reward. You just hope it is like getting a present from a rich uncle.” www.abga.org | 19


PIT KEMMER, AUCTIONEER 931-335-4628 www.kemmerranch.com

www.abga.org | 21




1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE BOER GOAT INDUSTRY? We started in the Boer Goat Industry because of our oldest son. He came to us expressing an interest in showing a wether through our 4H group. We had no idea where to start or what we were doing. We went to several ranches to look at goats and we asked lots of questions. We decided to buy him a doe and show her in the wether class. As my son got more into taking care of his goat we discussed the options of starting our own little herd and having our children show our own goats instead of purchasing from others. This is how it all began.

2. HOW MANY GOATS DO YOU HAVE, AND WHAT DO YOU USE THEM FOR? We now have about 70 goats in our herd. We mainly breed our goats for the major stock shows and our county show.

3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT RAISING BOER GOATS? Our favorite part of raising Boer goats is meeting new and interesting people. Also the experience of learning new things about the goats and the life lessons that goat raising has taught us.


4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED, AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO OVERCOME THEM? In the beginning we had challenges from people giving my son information that was incorrect. After that we made a vow to help anyone that needed it because we knew how it felt for our child to have been given information that was incorrect.

5. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS GETTING INTO THE BOER GOAT INDUSTRY? The advice I would have for young producers going into the Boer Goat industry would be to use the knowledge of fellow goat raisers and not to get discouraged easily. Your hard work and labor will pay off in the future.


University Goat Club by Hannah Goeb

Purdue University Goat Club Youth Outreach Officer

Spring 2013 Purdue University Goat Club Founding Officers at a College of Agriculture outreach event. Photo includes: Jordan Paul, Emily Erickson, Dr. Marcos Fernandez (advisor), Cody Schnur, Kirk Hubbard, Sarah Correll, and Hannah Goeb.


group of Purdue University goat enthusiasts have united together to form one of the first ever University sponsored Goat Clubs. The Purdue University Goat Club was founded in the 2013 Spring Semester with a goal of educating the campus about the role and importance of meat, dairy, and fiber goats. The club meets every two weeks and engages in educational, social, and community service activities throughout the year. Various industry speakers are invited to share their perspectives and knowledge on the industry as well as veterinarians and research scientists. The club has also been involved in many community service initiatives and has presented 11 4-H goat workshops over the state of Indiana this year. These workshops include goat management, selection, breeding, and showmanship topics. The club also had a role in the 2013 “Purdue Ag Week” and led a campus outreach that involved educating general students on the goat industry. The club is still growing and has started off the Fall 2013 semester almost doubling in its size to approximately 35 students. Club goals for this year include continuing youth outreach initiatives, involving more industry groups in the club, and possibly hosting an ABGA open show.







www.CallicrateBanders.com www.abga.org | 23

Profile for American Boer Goat Association

The Boer Goat - November/December 2013  

The Boer Goat - November/December 2013  

Profile for abga-org