Boer Goat Breed Standards

Explanation of Boer Breed Standards

The goal of the CMGA Boer Breed Standards is to improve the breed and to increase productivity by identifying what the Association has deemed the Ideal Boer Goat. Although any animal may be registered if parentage is correct, the Boer Breed Standards provide a guideline for producers to follow when selecting breeding stock, herd replacements and show stock.

General Appearance

The Boer goat is a meat animal and should display volume with symmetry, giving a strong and vigorous appearance. All of the component body parts should blend together smoothly to form a refined, well-fleshed animal that stands squarely on its feet and legs and moves forward freely.

It is important that bucks be obviously masculine in appearance while does should display femininity. Bucks will tend to carry more mass through the shoulders and chest blending smoothly back to a muscular hindquarter while the doe’s body has a wedged appearance showing lots of capacity for carrying young.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • A doe or buck which gives the impression of being of the opposite sex

Head & Neck

The Boer Goat has a convex profile with a roman nose and pendulous ears of sufficient length to lay smoothly against the head without interfering with the eyes. Head must be of medium length, strong and feminine (masculine) in appearance. The muzzle is broad with large, open nostrils. The jaw is strong, even and correctly aligned with bite neither undershot nor overshot. The eyes are full and bright, and the forehead wide. Horns, if present, should be well spaced and curve back and out to allow full range of movement without rubbing the neck at maturity. The curve of the horns should follow the convex profile of the face. The neck should be proportional to the body size and thick at the base, blending smoothly into the shoulders and brisket.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Neck that is too long, short or thin
  • Vertically folded ears
  • Crooked face (wry face)
  • Dish face
  • Disfiguring malocclusion (very crooked teeth)
  • Total blindness

Cull Defects:

  • Misalignment of jaws: overshot or undershot more than 5mm (1/5th of an inch)
  • Helicopter, gopher, elf or erect ears (not a disqualification in percentage animals)


Traditional Boer goat colouration consists of a white body with reddish brown on both sides of the head, the color patch being a minimum of 10 cm (about 4 inches) across in any direction. Ears must be 75% reddish brown, Reddish brown may extend as far as the withers and brisket. The body may have a reddish brown mark not exceeding 15 cm (about 6 inches) across in any direction. Hairless areas must be 75% pigmented.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Weak pigmentation in the low hair and/or hairless areas under the tail, round the eyelids and mouth, etc. as this could lead to sunburn and possibly skin cancer.


The shoulders should be well muscled with an even covering of firm flesh set smoothly against the chest wall and withers. The withers should be slightly rounded and barely defined, evenly fleshed and blend smoothly into the chine. The brisket should be broad, deep, muscular and firm. The forelegs should be straight, strong and medium in length. Forelegs should be wide apart and squarely set, adequately proportioned to support the animals’ weight. The feet should be sound, wide and pointed forward with a deep heel, level sole and closed toes. Strong pasterns are a must.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Shoulders too loose
  • Toes pointed in or out
  • Weak pasterns
  • Feet that don’t grow evenly


The heart girth should provide ample respiratory capacity as evidenced by long, well sprung foreribs and a muscular chest floor along with fullness at the point of the elbow. The barrel should be uniformly long, deep and broad thus providing ample digestive capacity. Females should show a wedge shape widening towards the rear to evidence lots of room for carrying kids. The back should be strong and broad with an even covering of smooth, firm flesh. A strong, straight and nearly level topline is desirable. The loin should be well muscled, wide, long and thick.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Narrow heart girth
  • Slab sided body
  • Pinched behind shoulders
  • Weak in the chine area (sway back)
  • Lameness


The rump should be long, broad and level from thurl to thurl, cleanly fleshed and have a slight slope from hips to pins. The tail head is slightly above and nearly set between pin bones with the tail being symmetrical with the body. The twist should be deep, full and firm with the escutcheon (rear udder attachment area) low and wide. The thighs should be deep, wide, muscular and firm. Medium length hind legs are desirable. They should be wide apart and nearly straight when viewed from the rear. When viewed from the side a vertical line could be drawn from the pins to the hocks to the dewclaw. The rear leg bones should be strong and adequately proportioned to support the animals’ weight. Strong pasterns are a must. The feet should be sound, short, wide and pointed forward with a deep heel, level sole and closed toes.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Rump too short or too steep
  • Flat buttocks
  • Cow hocked
  • Sickle hocked
  • Posty legs (poor angulation)
  • Weak pasterns
  • Pigeon toed or splay footed

Mammary/Reproductive System

The doe’s udder should be long, wide, extending well forward and show adequate capacity without exaggerated size. The texture should be pliable and elastic, free of scar tissue and well collapsed when empty or dry. In the fore area the udder should be carried well forward, tightly attached, blending smoothly into the body. In the rear area the udder should be high, wide and strong with udder halves evenly divided and symmetrical with a strong medial suspensory ligament. The doe must have well defined, fully functional teats of desired length and size for nursing. Teats on both does and bucks must be free from obstruction and properly placed with a maximum of two well-separated teats per side. A buck must have two firm, fully descended testicles of similar size with a maximum scrotal split of 2.4 cm (1 inch) on a mature buck.

Undesirable Characteristics:

  • Poorly attached udder
  • Teats too large (calabash teats)
  • Teats too small for effective nursing

Cull Defects:

  • Hermaphroditism (displaying characteristics of the opposite gender)
  • Teats that are joined or partially joined, including double teats, fish teats and cluster teats
  • Bucks with only one testicle or abnormal testicles