2018 Boer Goat Breed Standard

The following are the breed standards accepted by the New Zealand Boer Goat Breeders Association which are aligned with the South African Boer Goat Association.
This standard is a guide to breeders and sets down guidelines to encourage the breeding of an improved boer goat with increased economic value to commercial goat meat production. When evaluating boer goats, productive traits such as conformation, mobility and good structure should always receive priority over other aesthetic traits. To this end form should always follow function.


A strong, broad head showing character and a quiet disposition. Large brown almond shaped hooded eyes.A strong curved roman nose with flared and wide nostrils with the tip of the nose in line with the lower lip and chin.

A strong lower jaw rising to meet the upper jaw is ideal. Up to 6 tooth must show a 100% fit and at 8 tooth may show 6mm protrusion.Permanent teeth must cut in the correct anatomical place.

A prominently curved forehead linking up with the curve of the nose and horns. Horns should be strong, round, solid and show colour, be of moderate length and placed moderately apart with a gradual backward curve. Ears should be long, broad, smooth, set in line with the eye and hang downwards from the head.

Characteristic Faults:
Concave forehead, straight, flat or wild horns, pointed jaws, ears folded [lengthwise], stiff protruding ears, short ears. overshot or undershot jaw.

Neck and Forequarters

A neck of moderate length in proportion to the length of the body.In does, the neck should come out from the chest blending smoothly with the shoulders, be wide in it's attachment and rising gracefully to the throat latch which shows refinement in the female.

In males, the neck should be thicker and show skin folds as a sign of masculinity, The chest should be broad with a deep brisket, The shoulder should be well muscled, in proportion to the body and be well-fitted to the wither. The wither should be broad and well-fitted (not sharp).

Characteristic Faults:
Very long, thin, or short neck or too loose shoulders.


The barrel should be long, broad and deep. The ribs must be well sprung and the loins well muscled. The goat should have a broad, fairly straight back and must not be pinched behind the shoulders. A small dip behind the shoulder is acceptable.

Characteristic Faults:
Concave back, slab-sided, cylindrical or pinched behind the shoulder.


The pelvis must be large, broad and deep with good length from the hip to pin. Well muscled through the rump, twist and inner thighs with length through the stitch, particularly in bucks. The rump should be slightly sloped. The tail should be straight at the dock and be able to move freely.

Characteristic Faults:
Narrow hips or thurl, rump that slopes too much, wry tail, short from hip to pin, poor muscling particularly in males, short stitch / poor inner thigh development.

Sexual Organs

Does must have a well-formed udder firmly attached with the ideal being no more than two separate teats on a side but teats that are classified as ideal or acceptable as per 2018 Breed Standard (1-17) will be permitted into the Show Ring and are permitted to be Registered as Stud.
View 2018 Breed Standards for Teats

Bucks must have two reasonably large, well-formed, healthy and equal sized testes in one scrotum. A scrotum with no larger split than 25mm is permissible.The scrotum must be at least 250mm in circumference at maturity. The teat requirement for Bucks is exactly the same as for the Does.

Characteristic Faults:
Bunched teats, calabash/bottle teats or pendulous udder or any combination that is shown as "Cull" in the 2018 Breed Standard. Small testes; a scrotum with more than a 25mm split; scrotal sack with a circumference of less than 250mm at maturity.


The ideal is a medium sized, heavy goat with maximum meat production. A desirable relationship between length of leg and depth of body should be achieved. Kids tend to be longer in the leg.

Characteristic Faults:
Goats too large or too small (pony type).


The Standard Boer Goat is a white bodied goat with a fully pigmented red head and white blaze although a full red head is permissible.
Uniform shading between light and dark is permissible. The minimum requirement for a stud animal is a red patch of at least 100mm in diameter on both sides of the head, ears excluded. Both ears should have at least 75% red colouring and 75% pigmentation.

The Following Is Permissible:
Head, Neck and Forequarters:
A total red colouring is permissible not further than the shoulder blade and on the shoulder not lower than the chest junction. Broken colouring is acceptable as long as the effect is not one of mottling.

Barrel, Hindquarters and Belly:
Only one patch not exceeding 10cm in diameter is permissible.

The term 'legs' is taken to mean that portion below an imaginary line formed by the chest and the underline. One patch or a nmber of patches that do not exceed a total area of 50mm in diameter.

The tail may be red, but the red colour may not continue onto the body for more than 25mm.

Red Hair and Covering:
Very few red hairs in the white of the coat is permissible from the age of two tooth.

General appearance and type

The ennobled Boer Goat is an animal of quality with balance and symmetry and a strong, vigorous appearance. The doe must be feminine, wedging slightly in the front. The buck demonstrates masculinity, and is heavier in the head, neck, forequarters and rump.


A doe must have kidded by 2 years of age.


Animals that display any of the following disqualifications should not be used for breeding and may not be exhibited:
- Blue eyes
- Wry, twisted or crooked face or mouth
- Parrot mouth
- Undescended, single or divided testes, monorchid or cryptorchid


Where the animal is highly exceptional in its functional traits and displays an aesthetic fault its exceptional traits should be recognised.

Red Boer Goats

The ideal is a completely red Boer goat with no white markings.
The permissible allowance of white on the body and limbs is the same as for a standard Boer goat. A white spot on the head no larger than 100mm is permissible. The remainder of the Breed Standard for Red Boer Goats is the same as for Standard Boer Goats.