Nubian and the Boer goats breeds are the two species of goats that are widely recognized for their long floppy ears.
So in this article, we will be looking at the physical characteristics and the importance of the long ears to both goat species.
The Nubian is a large breed of dairy goat that is characterized by long, floppy ears that are bell-shaped. Their ears fall an inch below the face. Their fur comes in short and glossy forms in a range of colors, including red, black, and tan colors, including the small upturned tails.
They are the most recognized dairy goats in the United States and were introduced in 1896.
Physical Characteristics of the Nubian Goat
Size: Mature Nubian goats weigh between 110 and 310 pounds. The bucks weigh minimally at 174 lb, and a maximum of 309 lb, and the doe weigh 243. The bucks (male goats) are 36 in (90cm), and the does are 32 in (80 cm)
Functions of the long ears: Their long ears help them cope well with the hot weather of the tropics. It aids their adaptability. Nubians naturally can’t cope well with humidity, so with their long ears, they are able to keep warm.
Temperament: the Nubian goats are friendly, bright, and tractable goats. They make loud noises when they want attention or are hungry. In contrast, they remain quiet when content.
The shape of eyes: Nubian goats possess horizontal pupils in their eyes that allow them to have a broader range of peripheral vision.
Reproduction of the Nubian Goats
Nubian Goats have a fast puberty rate, as they get mature as early as six months of age. The bucks (male goats) give out a solid musk-like odor to attract the does (female goats) during the breeding season.
Male goats produce a very potent musk-like odor during the breeding season to attract females. The kidding rate is usually one to three kids, and the goats stay pregnant for 140-160 days.
Nubian Goat Accommodation
If you are operating a homestead, you have to build a large barn or stall to keep your Nubian gaits because of their size. If it is a farmstead, you can pull a stall with a back door, where the goats can come out to graze.
I will recommend you keep a large climbing structure close to the stall. Nubian goats love climbing, so it is important that you let your Nubian goats graze in wetlands and within environmentally monitored areas so that there won’t be cases feeding on toxic plants such as poison ivy.
Nubian Goats productivity
Nubian goats are big dairy goats that serve as one of the best cheesemakers in the United States. It is not surprising that they are the most popular dairy goats in the United States.
They produce an average of 6.6 lb (3.9kg) of milk daily, which is about a gallon which accumulates to an average of 1920 lb (871 kg) quantity of milk within 305 days. A Nubian goat produces ¼ the amount of milk that a dairy cow produces. Its milk contains 3.5% protein and 4.8% butterfat.
In terms of cheese making, most Nubian goats possess genes that aid in the high production of alpha s1-casein, which is a vital protein needed in cheesemaking. This gene also makes the Nubian goat dairy product more proteinous and nutritious.
Nubian Goat Relationship with Man
As stated earlier, Nubian goats are big dairy goats that produce high-quality milk that contains sufficient butterfat. The milk gotten from them is processed into consumable milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and butter which man consumes.
Most persons react to milk from cows, so most of them depend on dairy goats such as Nubian goats. Also, man consumes their meat and requires their hides to produce real leather.
Nubian Goats Lifespan
The Nubian goats have a life expectancy rate of 10 – 15 years.
The Boer goat is a large goat that originates from South Africa and is referred to as the South African common goat. They possess a white body with a brown head and long drooping ears, which is similar to that of the Nubian goats.
The Boers were first imported into the United States around 1994 from New Zealand and Australia. Due to their size, they are mainly grown for meat.
Boer Goats Physical Characteristics
Boer goats possess some unique characteristics that stand them out from other goats, and they include:
The shape of Ears: Their ears are long and pendulous similar to that of the Nubian goats.
Size: A mature Boer buck, on average, weighs between 110 to 160 kg, and a mature doe weighs between 90 to 110 kg. In terms of height, the Boer goat reaches about 44 inches. In a feedlot condition, the Boer goat gains an excess of 0.4 pounds per day.
Temperament: Boer goats are a calm and friendly species of goats that like staying in a group. They are one of the best breeds of goats for land management because they don’t fight with other goats.
Adaptability: Boer goats are very hardy and easily adapt to any environment regardless of the weather conditions. Additionally, they are docile and fast-growing goats.
Boer Goat Feeding
Boer goats feed on the normal food that every goat eats: hay and pasture. They have an excellent desire for corns, green grasses, leaves of trees, and other processed goat feeds. They require a huge amount of good food, which explains their fast-growing rate.
Additionally, ensure there is always clean and fresh water close to them, as they are known to take water always. Their nutrition can impede or improve their growth rate.
Boer Goats Reproduction
The Boer goat is known for its fast-growing rate. The male Boer reaches puberty between four and eight months. At the same time, the female Boer goats reach puberty between seven and ten months old.
The gestation period of a Boer goat is 150 days. The mothers are known to possess excellent mothering skills and have a fast kidding rate of 180 – 190%, with twin birth being common.
Boer Goats For Show
Apart from the primary reason in which Boer goat is raised, which is for meat production, they are popularly used for show business.
Their big size makes them suitable to be used to entertain humans. Boer goats used for shows need special care, feeding, housing, and other essentials.
Boer Goats Relationship with Man
The Docility nature of the Boer goat set them apart in the purebred and commercial American meat industry. Boer goats normally feature a redhead, that aids meat buyers’ animals to locate it.
The Boer goats are normally worth much and sold at a higher price than other colored goats of similar age and gender. Also, their hides are collected for the production of leather products.
Value of Boer Goats
Due to their strong carcasses, excellent conformity, and fast growth rate, the Boer goats are more expensive than other goat breeds. Also, they are limited in their numbers in the United States, but lately, their prices are becoming reasonable due to increased importation.
So their scarcity, coupled with their excellent physical raised in the United States, is less hardy than those raised in South Africa.
Boer Goats Lifespan
The Boer goats have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years. However, research has shown that they are susceptible to internal parasites when grown in the warmer and humid regions in the United States.
The Nubian and Boer goats are two species of goats characterized by long floppy ears. Apart from their long ears, they both possess distinct characteristics – one is a dairy goat, and one is none.
The simple rule here is that proper nutrition should be maintained.