NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Boers and Bagots  (Read 259 times)

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Boers and Bagots
« on: March 21, 2019, 06:11:15 pm »
I'll preface this by saying I've not seen either breed in real life, so I might be comparing Shire horses to Shetland ponies...!


Would it be feasible to cross Bagot nannies with a Boer (or Boer-type) buck?
We're looking at Bagots for conservation grazing, however to support the scheme we could do with some nice chunky kids to send to the butcher.
Main concerns obviously are whether a Bagot can safely birth a larger kid, and whether she'd produce enough milk (especially on rough forage).


Any insight appreciated, especially a "ARE YOU MAD DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!"


 :thumbsup:
Voss Electric Fence

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 07:30:24 am »
I keep Bagots and would say the following:

You're unlikely to be able to acquire Bagot females from a reputable breeder if they know your intention is to cross-breed.  We have too few in the breeding population for this and therefore most reputable owners will only sell females to breeding homes.  Males, on the other hand, can and do go for conservation grazing, pets and, sometimes, meat.

It may make more sense to take on some of the males, grown them on for a couple of years to do your conservation grazing and then send them for meat when you're ready for them.  Adult males (3 yo) are easily 60-80kgs if mine are anything to go by, and whilst they don't look chunky, they are pretty solid.  The trick would be to send them to the butcher before they start rutting as they drop to hat racks over the season and come out looking like cruelty cases!  This would also provide an outlet for breeders trying to re-home their males in order to continue breeding so you could get a regular supply going year on year if that worked for you.

Bagots normally produce single kids, although twins are becoming more common in private homes where food is readily available.  One of mine produced triplets a couple of years ago (only the second time this has been recorded and the other one was from a "graded up" line whereas mine isn't) and reared them without assistance so I wouldn't expect milk to be an issue.  Bagot milk is incredibly rich and creamy.  I had some of mine tested through the milk recording scheme and the butterfats are very high...however, I didn't measure volume as I didn't take the kids off and wasn't milking for myself other than to take off excess to relieve pressure until the kids caught up with production.

Aside from the ethics of cross-breeding an endangered species, I personally wouldn't put a Boer male on a Bagot female.  The girls are "svelte" and whilst all of mine have birthed without assistance (including the triplets), I would anticipate that the bigger kids could give problems that would require manual intervention.

If it's meat goats you want, then why not use the Boers for conservation grazing?  I can't see any reason why it couldn't work (but I don't have experience with Boers so maybe I'm missing something).  Both species would require shelter and regular checking.  The other alternative would be to look at dairy (male or female) for the females and use a Boer on them for the meat kids.  Several people in the area I live do this, and get decent weights from the slaughter.  Again, there are excess dairy kids out there, so another option is to buy the kids and grow them to maturity for slaughter.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 12:10:14 pm »
As boers are becoming more common, crossbreds are becoming cheaper, may be better trying a couple of them? See how they go on? 

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 09:28:55 pm »
I've found that Boer's are better grazers than the dairy breeds, the dairy goats I've had always seem to spend most of their time climbing the stock fencing to eat the hedging. Boer might be more suited to grazing

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 09:58:46 am »
Scarlet.dragon, the point about needing all females for pure breeding is one that I hadn't thought of but should have. Kicking myself a bit! That might make the final decision to be honest. Also the point about supporting the breed by being a purchaser for young males.


Boers and Boer crosses had been proposed, but I was a little hesitant about their ability to thrive on the forage there. I suppose we could try it and see, and if we get a group of wethers (do you call male castrates wethers??) they can just be sent off when needed.


It is hypothetical at this stage, but thank you for your inputs! I'll let you know if/when anything gets off the ground. Early days yet.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 05:22:53 pm »
It's an easy oversight so don't beat yourself up about it.  If you do go down the male route, you could also look at Old English alongside the Bagots.  I think they look sufficiently similar that you shouldn't have too many problems with the "racist bullying" you often get between different breeds.

It may also be worth talking to the Boer owners to find out how well they'll thrive on the ground.

As an aside, you'll need very good fencing for Bagots, probably less so for the Boers.  Sheep may be another option for conservation grazing... something like Shetlands or Hebs, or if you wanted a bigger carcass maybe the Jacob?  You'd still be supporting rare breeds and you wouldn't need the same shelter for sheep as you do for goats.

Hope whatever you decide works out for you.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 07:56:34 pm »
We've sheep coming out of our ears, but I'm worried about them getting caught up in all the brambles. Long term ambitions are cattle, but that's a way off and of course we get into TB testing then (Wales, so annual testing at minimum).


I might know more once I've laid eyes on the site too!  ::) :roflanim:



Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Boers and Bagots
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 05:12:07 pm »
Brambles won't last long with goats that's for sure!  Goats may also fall into TB testing - I know several keepers have that issue. 

If the brambles are the only issue then depending on the size of the site you may be able to blitz the problem with a strimmer or flame-thrower - or even a rough cut mower on the back of a quad and then use sheep.  Just a thought.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

 

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