United Kingdom & Europe

Consulting

Geof and Celia Burnett-Smith are currently in Scotland on a family Estate – Kinblethmont, Arbroath, Angus.

Most privileged and appreciative to be located in such a wonderful place, kids to be born from imported embryos are impatiently awaited – sadly there will be very few.

With complete dedication to the development and improvement of the Boer goats in Europe, Geof and Celia would like to assist breeders in any way possible, to make the most of the genetics already in England and, where necessary or so desired, to complement these genetics with imported genetics from Australia.

(In our opinion) I.O.O. Certain facts need to be taken into account. This is speaking entirely from the quality of the goats that we have seen, rather than from any regulatory or registrable viewpoints.

1. There are some VERY excellent Boer goat does currently here in England. They are large framed, deep and even meaty in some cases. They are a resource already here in this this country and I.O.O. they should be allowed to form the base of the ongoing English Boer Goat Foundation Flock.

Yes, they have faults and many do not have horns which creates an unknown according to breed standards, but by the very essence of breeding – this should be of little consequences.  Faults can and should be :
* Identified
* Accepted as such ; and
* Bred out

NOT discriminated against and sold off, or, worse still – culled.

In an industry like this which has been operating incredibly well (against the genetic odds), every bloodline and every female has its value.  (In our opinion) I.O.O. there exists a treasure trove to which some excellent British breeders have already contributed with outside importations and sharing of genetics.

Our advice is to make a critical, individual assessment of your animals. If you are confident that you can see their faults (ie where they could improve) then make your own, in house assessment.

If not – call in an independent party who will give you a realistic assessment.

Then face the music. If you want to progress, act on that assessment. What you do now will pay you enormous dividends in a surprisingly short space of time.

BUT whatever you do, be discerning of the bucks you use. A doe with faults, joined to a good buck, will already be on the way to diminishing those faults. A buck used with faults will be locking his faults into the next generation with every mating. As we all know, bucks can be prolific and the fault simply multiplies throughout your flock and into the foreseeable future

Fortunately, in this day and age, there is no need to use a faulty buck. There is an abundance of well proven semen in the marketplace. Insemination is a little more inconvenient than a buck merely ‘running out with your girls’, but the benefits are enormous. Technicians are becoming better known and options should be available in 2016.

The insemination option is far more realistic than the ‘buck purchase option’.    Please look at this with clarity.

BUCK PURCHASE OPTION

Now that the option of top quality semen has become realistic, there is no need to buy an expensive buck.   For a start, you will never be sold the best buck in anyone’s stud, so there is always likely to be a better buck out there (with the same bloodlines).   You will have to feed and house your boy – for what benefits?  At best, I can suggest that he will be a ‘mop up’ buck for you following an AI program. (Put in with those does that did not take to the AI from a superior buck).

I am speaking of course from the point of view of those who want to reach the pinnacle in stud breeding.  This will NOT be achieved by buying any other breeder’s second grade bucks.   Those bucks should be going out into the commercial marketplace, producing the product which will enhance the breed for the long term good of the industry.

In a marketplace such as this one, where breeders are wanting (and needing) to build up their numbers for the burgeoning demand, vigilance is required by incoming stud breeders.  It’s the right time for discipline and a ‘group’ approach.

My advice is ‘buy females and buy true’. Be advised by an independent party if possible.  Those girls will be your bounty, your foundations and your future

Thereafter, by all means, research and buy semen from male bloodlines who are tried and tested.  Please do NOT spend your £££ on random, second string males, or you will remain a second string breeder.

In summary : YES, certainly, your females should be selected from a group (preferably by an educated breeder), but please do not, for a few years, contemplate buying a buck just because he is being offered to you.   You can do so much better than this.

Do your research with diligence.  Rely on experienced and trusted breeders and – critically important – proven sires.

Keep the best – sell the next best (who should really be commercial animals).   SORRY BOYS!!

Hope your kids are growing out well and we see a fantastic line up out there, this year.

Celia Burnett-Smith
Terraweena UK