You are welcome to contact us and arrange a visit to the farm: 0429661369 or email: email@example.com
Look here for "What's new!" events, information, activities, discussion.
Check out the "Boer Goats for sale" page for recent details of bucks and does for sale.
Check out this link for Victorian show dates for 2013: http://www.vicagshows.com.au/calendar.html
THE GOAT-KEEPERS DIARY 2013:
October 15, 2013. Where to buy A.I. equipment.
Breeders ask us where can they buy A.I. equipment for their goat programs. We have used two suppliers of equipment, and have found both of them excellent and very reasonably priced. So here is a bit of information. We get no "kickbacks" from this so I am not promoting them for profit, just information for goat breeders.
All the equipment used in the A.I. training programs, and the equipment sent to Nepal for the A.I. breeding there was sourced at www.minitube.com.au
and the other place I have sourced A.I. materials from is Genetics Australia. Predominently for the dairy cow industry, buts lots of it suitable for goats. Will put their web site here soon.
September 25, 2013 The boys semen has arrived in Nepal
While it took a while and there were many hurdles to cross, semen from six of our top bucks has now reached Nepal and has been cleared through quarantine there. Nalu Boer Goat Stud in Nepal can now offer top quality Australian genetics to the goats in Nepal. The owners of Nalu Boer Goat Stud have also been trained in Australia by one of the best AI veterinarians, to prepare and inseminate the goats. We congratulate them on their enormous commitment to the industry in Nepal and wish them great success with their breeding programs.
August 26, 2013. Farmers markets "on the go". Quality and passion for the product is the basis for successful interaction with the customers.
Earlier in the year, I announced that Cadenza Boers had expanded into selling goat meat at local farmers markets. I thought some of you may be interested in an update. We now attend four local Farmers markets selling both smoked goat products, and fresh goat meat. We only sell goat meat. I am very surprised by the acceptance, and in fact in many cases, demand for high quality goat meat. We only sell the very best quality goat meat, processed and packaged by the best butchers in the area. While a few people are looking for "cheap" goat meat, most of our customers want to know where the goat comes from, want to meet the farmers who produces it, and want to discuss the best way to cook the meat. They are prepared to pay well for a superior local product.
It has taken nearly a year to get the health requirements right, to take health training programs, to purchase tables, marques, cooling equipment etc. The other thing that is essential is to really take your time to learn how to time the production of the product, and to estimate the customers requirements. Not an easy task I can assure you. Sometime there is a high demand for sausages and diced meats, on other days, the demand is for legs and cutlets. The smoked products sell themselves at every market as we put out tastings and customers cannot resist such a high quality smoked Caprossi.
Please don't think I am suggesting selling at Farmers markets is easy......it is a lot of work, and early morning starts, and a lot of "yakking" to customers. I thought I would be terrible at selling, however to my surprise, it is no effort as I am absolutely convinced I am selling a top quality product from an animal that I am passionate about.......and it shows through. If you do not have the ability or the passion to engage with customers, I suggest you think very carefully before planning an income from Farmers markets.
I will talk more about the markets a little later. In the meantime, thanks to all those customers who are seeking quality and local products, over the convenience of supermarket shopping.
July 31, 2013. Another successful A.I.Training program held here at Cadenza Boers. This time for serious breeders from Nepal.
We have been very busy over the past few days with International goat breeder visitors from Nepal. Our very charming visitors have successfully completed an intensive training program so that they can collect, process, and inseminate goats in Nepal. Peter Lynch from NZ was the instructor, and he was very impressed with the abilities of the participants. Congratulations to everyone involved....including the goats, who with one or two exceptions behaved exceptionally well. Below, a couple of pictures of the training.
July 11, 2013. The first of the AI Training program kids are here! One buck and one doe.
It was very cold here last night and this morning (-1) so I try to do the best I can to keep the does in a place that is as protected and warm as possible to give the kids the best chance of survival. Fortunately I have a large hay shed so that is where I put them at night when they are due to kid.
I have washed and trimmed lamb covers ready to put on the kids, towels to dry them off if necessary, and lugols for the umbilical cords. Even given all these precautions, it only takes a few minutes for a wet kid to chill down and then it is unlikely to attempt to suckle. Fortunately this doe waited until a bit after 8am to kid so I was up and around and could
put lamb covers on quite quickly after the kids were born to keep them warm. It took them a while to get going as even with covers on it was exceptionally cold, and they were having a bit of a shiver. They are now just fine, and they have a great attentive mother. Pictures below.
July 10, 2013. Kids are about to drop as a result of pregnancies from the AI Training program in February.
Below are pictures of some of the heavily pregnant does.
June 24, 2013. The big wet is over for the time being. Who made it through.
Finally it has stopped raining for a while. We have been quite desperate for rain since February with many local dams being only mud puddles and farmers selling their stock because of lack of feed and water. When we have rain, "we have rain". So rather than getting some nice frequent rainfalls we had nearly eight inches of rain spread over about four days. For most of the time it was also very cold, with about a 12 degree max temperature during the day. So what to do about it.
Fortunately we had a couple of days of warning that there would be heavy rain so we started preparing. Under these conditions all goats must have shelter from the worst of the rain and cold. This meant sheds were pretty cramped, and extra sheds were bought into use, including the hay shed for the weaner boys.
My strategy is that even if the goats are short of feed for a day or so, this is far better than having goats wet and cold with no shelter. I think the latter uses up more energy than sitting around in a dry, relatively warm sheltered area. In reality, all the goats here could dash out onto pasture when the rain let up a bit, and when they got cold they headed back to dry off.
The goats most at risk during this type of weather event are the small and weak (because they get chilled down more quickly), and the heavily pregnant does because if they reduce feed input, they may not be able to keep their blood sugar levels high enough to sustain the development of the kids so will sometimes abort.
Fortunately we survived it all, with only one little doe kid needing to be penned and rugged for a while to warm her up and increase her nutrition. Other animals will have lost a little weight, and with the big wet, now comes additional risk of hatching of worm eggs on the pasture.
The positive side is there will be sufficient moisture left for really good spring growth. Come on spring, I am tired of winter already.
For those who got caught without sufficient feed and shelter for their goats during this wet period, please see on this page, the list of 10 essential things you should do before going into goats. Do not waste your money and the goats' lives thinking you will get around to getting shelter for the goats at some time. Make sure your goats have plenty of feed and shelter. Under-stock rather than over-stock. My perception is a lot of people go into goats, and a lot of people go out of goats with lighter pockets, because they do not learn to take care of their goats properly.
I hope the good goat breeders out there are doing well, and I am sorry for the goats with other breeders.
June 10, 2013. Love is sweet. Bucks at work.
I was checking the does today to see who had signs of being joined. I have been feeding molasses to the goats as a source of energy as it is cold and the feed is not very nutritious. There was Rocky "in love" with a doe who had molasses from one end of her to the other! I soon realised why. Rocky has a rather long beard. He obviously gets a lot of molasses on his beard and then spreads this all over the does he is serving. The doe was a sticky mess....I'll bet she is pregnant given the signs of action!
Other "more traditional" ways of identifying does that have been joined, is to use a buck harness that holds a crayon that marks the does as they are joined. The other simple way is to rub crayon on the bucks chest, and he leaves a little crayon on the does he serves. The first of these methods is a little risky as the animals can get their horns under the harness and this may cause injuries. The second method just doesn't last very long and the crayon needs to be renewed every couple of days. The molasses method is certainly novel, but I doubt this will really catch on in the goat world........Perhaps this where the saying comes from "love is sweet" :-)
May 31, 2013. The boys are growing.
Last Tuesday, Group 1 and group 2 of the weaner boys were weighed for the second time. They are paddock raised with some modest supplementary feeding of about 20o grams each of pellets two or three times a week, and molasses about twice a week. Here are the results.
The top performer is still Cadenza 17, the son of Mae West, putting on a pretty impressive nine kgs over the past two months. He now weighs 47kg at about eight months of age. He is a son of Bart. Four other bucks of this group also put on nine kgs, and the lowest gain was one buck who put on five kgs, with a body weight of 35kg. The average gain for this group was 7.5kgs over the two months with a range of 5-9kg.
The second group were born and weaned later than this first group. They also did quite well. They were weighed about six weeks ago, and they have averaged 5.5kg gain over the six weeks. Their weight gain ranged from 2-7kg. Pretty good for paddock raised goats!
I expect this weight gain to slow down during winter as the feed quality will be poorer, and the hormones are rising in the bucks who use a lot of energy jumping each other and sparring. Will let you know what happens.
May 20,2013. Cadenza Boers is now firmly established in the market place with goat meat product.
While it took a while to get going, we have established our goat products at several farmers markets in the area. Using our own goats, we work with a local butcher to produce high quality, smoked goat products. Last year, we tested the product at various markets and refined it for both taste and package size. Our first steps into the face to face selling of our product began in December last, and now extends to four farmers markets each month in the Gippsland area. Our smoked goat product range is about to be extended by public demand, into gourmet sausages, and fresh prime goat meat.
We guarantee to our customers that the goats used in our products are cared for the whole of their lives in sheltered paddocks and fed and managed in a caring way. The goats are taken with a companion directly and under low stress conditions to be processed. We care about our goats.
May 1, 2013. Our bucks Bart, and Barney, are being assessed in a sires trial.
Meat and Livestock Australia in conjunction with Kid Plan, is funding a sires performance program in NSW. Using AI on matched groups of does, bucks from various breeders are being assessed on how their progeny perform under the same environmental conditions. We have two bucks in the program Cadenza Bart, and Cadenza Barney. check out this link to find out more about the study:
April 30, 2013. Worms on the march or should I say wriggle!
This is the time of year when previously sub-clinical problems start to be evident in the Boer goat herd. As the cold bites, the nutrition that the pasture provides is decreasing, the worm burden rises because of moisture availability for hatching larvae, and any deficiencies in nutrition are magnified. One thing that all goat breeders should be able to do is to "condition score" their goats. Most times we aim for our goats to be in condition score three or higher. Does with kids at foot usually lose condition because of the big effort required to feed two kids as well as maintain themselves. We try not to let does get below condition score 2.5 as this leaves them open to cold stress and other immune related issues. It also means they will be in low body condition to join to the bucks. Check out the site below to understand condition scoring: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/animals-and-livestock/goats/assessment-skills-for-goat-meat-marketing
For worm related issues for each State, we suggest you subscribe to the sheep Worm Boss site, and particularly for us in Victoria, Patricia Veale writes a summary of what is happening with worms and also discusses the results of worm tests coming in to the test labs. This month she has written about coccidiosis and how it is a problem especially with young stock at the moment. While the site deals with sheep, you can be pretty sure this information will also be relevant to goats. Check it out.
April 22, 2013. Time for some humor.
"The Cadenza Hoon". by Jeff Brewer
For those of you who have visited Cadenza Boers, this image will be very familiar...and guess who the "hoon" is?
Hmmm must comb my hair more often.
Thanks to Jeff Brewer for his great work.
April 14, 2013. The buck kids are not happy.
The third group of buck kids has now been weaned. They are not happy and nor are their mothers. While I would like to have left them on their mothers for a little longer, they were really into chasing the does and "whooping" all day. The question arises, what is the best way to do the weaning?
I like to leave the newly weaned kids in the shed for a day or two so they get used to being away from their mothers, and the mothers reduce their calling for them. I often reduce the stress of weaning by allowing the mothers to visit their kids and sleep in the pen next to them for two or three days. This seems to comfort everyone and the kids settle better. It is not good practise to send the newly weaned kids off to an unfamiliar paddock as they will be stressed and often try to find their way back to their mothers. They must be kept warm, dry, and well fed over the early weaning days to give them the best chance of thriving. I feed the kids a chaff/lucerne chaff mix or some good quality hay, and some pellets. This fills their rumen with a lot of good feed with high roughage, so the kids are warm and have full bellies. I like to move the does away from the kids, rather than the does seeing their kids taken away from them. It seems less stressful for them as they know where the kids are. After weaning day, I drench the kids, weigh them, electronic tag them, tip their horns, and vaccinate if needed. Often these things are done over a couple of visits to the shearing shed rather than all at once. I also cast my eye over the kids to see if any show real potential as stud bucks. Today out of about 45 kids, I picked 6 buck kids showing potential. When I checked their breeding, I noticed most were singles, and most were by the one sire. So am I selecting primarily based on size and bloom because they were better fed, or am I really able to pick the better kids at this early age? While I hear various breeders say they can pick a champion at birth, I am a bit skeptical. What I often see is breeders taking a special interest in these kids and feeding them better than the other kids. This is called a self fulfilling prophecy because they grow better and look better because of better nutrition. The way to pick a real champion is to give all kids the same chance to grow, and the champion will emerge over time. There is no doubt better does throw better kids, but that is not the whole story.
March 30th, 2013.The unpaid workers
Ted at the back, and Lucy in front. Great mates.
Ted and Lucy are the working dogs here, but also great mates, lovely temperaments, and a great pleasure to have. They are both soft on the goats, but because it is not really natural for them to bark, sometimes they need to give difficult goats (specially the bucks) a hurry up by slipping in a "quick nip". Ted and Lucy are short-haired Border Collies. I like Border Collies because they are softer, and not as "over the top" as some other working breeds so I can manage them better. I like their short coats because it keeps them cooler, but it also keeps them cleaner and mud free. Ted is actually a better working dog than Lucy, however Lucy is starting to catch up with him in managing the goats, but in a different way. She is highly intelligent and is happy to please. Ted "the cool one" has recovered from his little "operation" but there is no doubt he is slowing down, and Lucy is becoming the main dog, with Ted supervising the action.
Advice: when you buy a working dog, buy from a reputable breeder. The initial cost is nothing compared to the costs of keeping a dog for its lifetime. A good dog will repay the initial cost, thousands of times over.
March 29th 2013. The second worst job for a goatkeeper.
There is a time when the older does are having problems keeping their weight on. My experience is that this time comes from about the age of eight years on, and is often related to how productive the doe has been in her breeding years. Those does who consistently produce triplets and are big milkers seem to be the first affected. While it might be expected the front teeth are an indication of wear of teeth and therefore difficulty eating, the does here seem to eventually have problem with their grinding teeth. This means they cannot "cud" properly and therefore the food is not properly prepared for digestion. The loss of these teeth may well be the result of the massive pull on calcium over their production years.
While the does themselves are still active and running with the herd, they do not seem able to put back condition after they have raised their last lot of kids. This is a real problem with winter coming as they become too thin and cannot keep warm.
What to do with these does. Eventually for all animals there comes a time when we need to take the responsibility of ending their life humanely. Personally, while the doe is happy and able to keep up with the herd, I am happy for her to continue. However the Boers in particular, have no tolerance for weak animals in their group. While I did not see this in the Angoras, the Boers will intentionally seek out the weak goat, attack it, and try to force it from the herd. This is a sensible thing to do from the herd's point of view as it may reduce attacks from predators. From the poor goat's point of view, what was once a comfortable place in the herd now becomes a misery. The other goats will often not let the weak doe into shelter, will intentionally "thump" her whenever they get the chance, and will actually try to chase her away.
I recently "put down" several of the old does here (9, 10, and 11y.o.). I never send these old does off to slaughter on the truck. They have given me everything and I cannot bear the thought of them being so stressed at the end of their life.
For any owner to just allow an animal to die in the paddock because they don't take responsibility for the animals welfare, is a despicable act and they should not own animals.
The most humane way to put down a goat is to shoot it. However the way to shoot a goat is very specific and must be done by a knowledgeable person. The following link talks about the CODE OF PRACTICE FOR GOAT WELFARE and the basics of caring for goats, but if you look at Section 9, it gives you instructions for THE HUMANE DESTRUCTION OF GOATS.
While kids may be shot from the front of the head,( as for cattle), by directing the shot at a point of intersection of lines taken from the base of each ear to the opposite eye (see Figure 2). THIS METHOD IS NOT SUITABLE IN MATURE GOATS, as the brain is located well back in the skull compared with other livestock.
Putting down old does is the second worst job for a goat-keeper, putting down baby kids is the worst. I will try and make the next note in the diary a happier story!
March 26th 2013. Husbandry issues. Infected ears.
One of the issues that occurs in a small percentage of kids, is the problem of necrosis of the hole around the tag pin. The major reason for smelly skin around the pin hole is that insufficient air can get to the hole to enable it to heal properly. When tagging animals it is very important to keep equipment clean. I always dip the tag and applicator in disinfectant between kids, and am meticulous not to touch the pin head of the tag with my dirty fingers. The tag must be inserted in the correct position on the ear as well. Even given all these precautions a few kids ears do not heal up well. Sometimes I spray this with a healing spray, however for the worst of them, I just cut out the tag and replace it when the hole has healed. Because the kids are double tagged I can still identify them even with one tag cut out. Part of the reason the tag hole does not heal well is because the shank of the tag is too short and the Boer goat's ear is quite thick. This means the plastic of the tag on each side of the ear is too close together and restricts air flow. Manufacturers don't appear to see this as an issue. However I note that the electronic round PIC tags have a longer, slightly thinner shank, and I very rarely have any problems with these tags.
This year to try to reduce problems caused by the normal plastic tags, I actually whittled down the inside tag area by slicing off a large piece of the tag on both sides of the pin before inserting the tag into the ear. This allows much more air to flow around the puncture hole. I have found the ear seems to heal up much more quickly with the extra air flow. The electronic tags will be inserted soon, and it is at this time a close inspection of the birth tag takes place, so after this I can confirm whether or not my perceptions are true.
PS. No matter how careful you are doing the job, it is not a nice job tagging kids.......
March 20 2013. The bucks are "smelly" and the does are "waggy" time of year. While the breeding season was a little slow to get going this year, probably because it was so dry, all the goats really want to get the fertilization process going! While some animal species have an all year round breeding season, goats are particularly stimulated by the shortening of daylight hours. That means from about January to July is the prime joining season. I can assure you, at the moment, the does are ready and the bucks are willing, however I am stalling the process for a little while longer as I do not want kids born in the very cold weather. While goats will often join outside the prime season, especially if bucks and does have been kept isolated from each other, you will start to see the bucks reduce their spraying, and the does reduce their cycling behaviour after about July August (as the days start to get longer). It is important to understand the effect of the daylight hours on fertility.
I have heard breeders, especially inexperienced ones, talk about their buck being infertile because they put him with the does but there were no kids five or so months later. I ask them what time of year did you put him with the does, and did the does cycle? Quite often they have not observed the does cycling but assumed the buck was infertile. The buck will not get a non cycling doe pregnant, no matter how hard he tries. Additionally, does in milk with kids at foot very often will not cycle until their milk supply is reducing. It is a rare thing for a buck to be infertile so check to see if your does are cycling before blaming the buck.
Another important management requirement is to purchase a new buck well before you want him to join your does. Goats usually find being moved to another property very stressful. The new buck may take some time to settle and to recover from the trauma of moving homes before he will take an interested in joining does. So aim to give him at least 4 to 6 weeks to settle.
Weanable size kids need to be removed from the paddock while the bucks are serving the does, as otherwise the doe kids are at risk of becoming pregnant. Once Boer buck and doe kids are over approx 25kgs they are close to becoming fertile. Doe kids in particular are at high risk of becoming pregnant and if they do, it will be a very dangerous thing for both them and the kids they are carrying. These does are at high risk for pregnancy toxemia, malnutrition, abortion, as well as having stunted growth themselves and also their kids if they survive. The message is, manage the kidding so your animals kid at the proper time and at the proper body weight and condition. Happy kidding.
WE OFFER A CONSULTANCY SERVICE
For breeders who feel they need more personalised assistance in setting up their goat breeding program, we offer a consultancy service. In addition a goat farm and/or goat assessment service is available for those who would like an opinion on the direction they are heading, and how they are managing their goats. These services are offered on an hourly rate plus travel expenses. Please feel free to talk to us about our consultancy services...no obligation.
Want to be successful breeding Boer Goats? Important for those thinking about going into goats is the basic information FAQ publication (see faqsjan2010.pdf file below).
You are welcome to call us, ask a question, arrange a visit to the farm: 0429661369