Boer goats are an African breed though there is disagreement as to whether we can thank the Hottentots, Europeans, and even East India Indians for it’s earliest stages of development. What we do know is in the early 1900s South African farmers began intentionally selecting traits favoring a fast-growing, adaptable, prolific meat goat.
In 1993 the first Boer goats were imported to the United States. Since then the demand for goat meat has skyrocketed. The American Boer Goat Association states they register over 45,000 head of Boer goats annually with all of the goat meat industry being estimated to value 150 million-400 million yearly.
The word Boer comes from the Dutch word for “farmer”. The Dutch established trading routes along the South African posts and found raising their own livestock to be essential to their survival.
While historians don’t quite agree on who combined European imports with native goats, the Dutch left their mark in this popular breed.
Also, the first registry was established in South Africa 64 years before the American registry. Today Boer goats are one of the few double-muscled meat goat breeds, explaining why they are the top breed in the meat market.