Breed Standards

Following are the standards as drawn up and accepted by the Boer Goat Breeders’ Association of South Africa. The aim of the breeding standards is to improve the breed and to increase the economic value.



A strong head with large soft brown eyes and without an untamed or wild look. A strong, Slightly curved nose, wide nostrils, and strong well formed mouth with well-fitted jaws. Up to 6 teeth must show a perfect bite. Eight tooth olds and older may show 6mm protrusion. Permanent teeth must cut in the correct anatomical place. The forehead must be prominently curved linking up with the curve of nose and horns. Horns should be strong, of moderate length and placed moderately apart with a gradual backward curve. Horns have to be as round and solid as possible and in dark colour.

Ears are to be broad, smooth and of medium length hanging downwards from the head. Ears that are too short are undesirable.

Characteristic cull defects: Concave fore-head, horns too straight or too flat: the tips of the horns must not press against the neck, pointed jaw; ears folded (lengthwise), stiff protruding ears, ears too short, over- or undershot jaw and blue eyes.

NECK AND FOREQUARTERS:A Neck of moderate length in proportion to the length of the body, full and well-fleshed and well-joined to the forequarter, is essential. The breastbone should be broad with a deep, broad brisket. The shoulder should be fleshy, in proportion to the body and be well-fitted to the withers. The withers should be broad and as well fitted as possible (not sharp). The front legs should be of medium length and in proportion to the depth of the body. The legs should be strong and well-placed, with strong pastern joints and well formed hoofs which are as dark as possible.

Characteristic cull defects: Too long, thin neck; too short neck, shoulders too loose.

BARREL:The ideal is a long, deep broad barrel. The ribs must be well sprung and fleshed, and the loins as well filled as possible. The goat should have a broad, fairly straight back and must not be pinched behind the shoulders.

Characteristic cull defects: Back too concave, too slab-sided, too cylindrical or pinched behind the shoulder.

HINDQUARTERS:The Kalahari red should have a broad and long rump, not sloping too much, well fleshed buttocks which are not too flat, and have fully fleshed thighs. The tail must be straight where it grows out of the dock and then may swing to either side.

Characteristic cull defects: A rump that hangs too much or is too short. A long shank or flat buttocks.

LEGS:Emphasis should be placed on the legs which should be strong and well-placed. Too fleshy legs are undesirable. Strong legs imply hardiness and a strong Constitution, which are absolutely essential characteristics of the Kalahari red.

Characteristic cull defects: Knock knees, bandy legs, cow hocked or post legged or sickle hocked. Legs too thin or too fleshy. Weak pasterns and hoofs pointing outwards or inwards.

SKIN AND COVERING:A loose supple skin with sufficient chest and neck skin folds, especially in the case of rams, is essential. Eyelids and hairless parts must be pigmented. The hairless skin under the tail should have 75% pigmentation for stud purposes, with 100% pigmentation the ideal. Short, glossy hair is desirable. A limited amount of fur will be tolerated during winter months.

Characteristic cull defects: Covering too long and coarse or too furry.


Ewes: Well-formed udder firmly attached with teats.
Teat types – Teat Table: Teat types 9, 10, 11 & 12 as illustrated in Boer Goat Breeders’ Association Teat Table will change from cull teats to flock teats, with the understanding that the teats are functionally effective, i.e. the ewe must be able to suckle her kids effectively. This must be seen to be a temporary amendment until such time as scientific research into teats may necessitate a different decision. This amendment has been made with the express purpose of increasing the commercial flocks in South Africa.

Teat types, Shows:Goats with the teat types referred to above may not take part in Shows in South Africa.

Teat types, Auctions:Goats with the teat types referred to above may be put up for sale as flock goats, at regional, club and production auctions from 1 November 2008 on the condition that the inspectors deem that the teats are functionally effective.

Goats with teat types 9, 10, 11 & 12 may, however not be auctioned at the National Auction and World Show Auction.


Rams:Two reasonably large, well-formed, healthy and equal sized testes in one scrotum. A scrotum with a split no larger than 5cm is permissible. The scrotum must be at least 25cm in circumference.

From 23 March 2012 the teats of Kalahari Red rams will be judged according to the table that appears in the student booklet and Journal

Characteristic cull defects: Bunched, calabash or split teats. Testes too small, a scrotum with more than a 5 cm split, a twisted scrotum.

QUALITY:Is indicated by the following characteristics: This is achieved with short glossy hair and a fine lustre, and ennobled appearance, especially with a strong head, rounded horn bent backward, loose thick, supple, folds of skin (particularly with rams) and short smooth glossy hair. In addition to the above mentioned qualities, the goat must have a lively appearance.

SIZE:The ideal is an average sized heavy goat for maximum meat production. A desirable ratio between length of leg and depth of body should be achieved at all ages. Lambs should tend to be longer in the leg.

Characteristic cull defects: Goats too large or too small (pony).

COLOURING:The ideal is a brown goat with colour shadings that ranges between light brown to dark brown.

As from 1 November 2008, a goat that is a flock goat because of colour, may not participate at the World Show, but may participate at Regional and Club Shows.



HEAD, NECK AND FORE-QUARTERS:Complete red colouring is permissible up to but not further than the shoulder blade. On the shoulder it must not go lower than level with the chest.

BARREL, HINDQUARTER AND BELLY:Only one patch not exceeding 10cm in diameter is permissible.

LEGS:The term “legs” means that portion below an imaginary line formed by the chest and the under line. Patches of a maximum of 5cm in diameter are permissible.

TAIL:The tail may be red, but the red colour may not continue onto the body for more than 2,5cm.

RED HAIR AND COVERING:Very few white hairs are permissible at the 2 tooth stage.

PIGMENTATION:Discriminate against too light pigmentation.


A flock goat is a Kalahari Red which does not comply with the stud standards, but has no cull defects. At least 75% of the colour must be brown, without creating the impression of being motley.

Explanation of Breed Standards

In applying these standards there are many aspects which cannot be completely defined.

In such cases the inspector or judge must use his discretion. In spite of the breed standards being clear and to the point, it is never the less necessary to supply additional information in respect of certain descriptions. The major part of the body of the goat must be white to make it conspicuous and to facilitate the rounding up of goats in dense terrain. A pigmented skin on the hairless parts, e.g. under the tail, round the eyelids and mouth etc, is absolutely essential, because it offers resistance to sunburn which may result in cancer. A pigmented skin is also more resistant to skin disease. A loose, supple skin is essential for adaptability to climatic conditions. In South Africa, which is a warm and sunny country, an animal with loose skin and short hair is better adapted. In addition, skin of this kind provides additional resistance to external parasites.


A goat with a fine head, round horns that are bent backwards, a loose, supple skin with folds (especially in rams) and with body parts well fleshed and in perfect balance. The ewe must be feminine, wedging slightly to the front, which is a sign of fertility. The ram is heavier in the head, neck and forequarters.  The Kalahari red is an animal with symmetry, with a strong, vigorous appearance and fine quality. The ewe must be feminine and the ram masculine.

Fertility of ewes:  In orderto be able to participate at Regional and Club shows and auctioned at Regional and Club Production Auction, Kalahari red ewes 6 tooth and older must be visibly pregnant, or positively scanned at the show or auction venue, or accompanied by a pregnancy certificate the date of which is not older than 1 month prior to the start of the show or auction, or who at the discretion is deemed by the inspectors to have lambed previously or to be suckling kids.

In order to be able to participate at the World Show and National and World Show Auction Kalahari red ewes 6 tooth and older must be visibly pregnant, or positively scanned at the show or auction venue, or accompanied by a pregnancy certificate the date of which is not older than 1 month prior to the start of the show or auction, or to have suckling kids