Q: What are Boer Goats?
A: Boer goats are a breed of goat that was developed in South Africa to produce a superior meat goat. When the prices for mohair (the fiber produced by Angora goats) declined in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Boer goats were imported to the United States to improve the carcass qualities of local goats.
Since that time, the Boer has rapidly increased in popularity and proven itself to be an efficient, fast-growing meat goat with a docile temperament and a hardy nature. Boers can now be easily found across the country and do well in a variety of climatic and management conditions.
Q: Why do you raise Boer Goats?
A: We both grew up on small dairy farms in Massachusetts and enjoy the challenges and rewards of owning our own farm. We chose to raise goats because they are inquisitive, comical and easily handled without expensive equipment.
Boer goats were an easy decision because they require very little maintenance to be healthy and productive and are easier to confine than most other goat breeds. We enjoy the benefits of raising our own chevon and have found that the market for registered breeding stock in the North East is excellent.
Q: What is chevon and what are the benefits?
A: Put simply, chevon is goat meat. Worldwide, goat is the most commonly consumed red meat. In America, chevon is becoming more popular with the health-conscious consumer, especially those looking for a tasty, naturally raised product.
Chevon is low in calories, fat and cholesterol and is high in protein and iron. Aside from being one of the healthiest red meats available, it has a wonderful mild flavor. Below is a table comparing the relative nutritive value of chevon and other meats.
Q: Do you sell chevon? Is it expensive?
A: We are a local farm that practices sustainable agriculture and we have a high regard for the health and safety of our customers and our animals. We understand and share the desire to move away from hormones and antibiotics in our food. By providing a locally grown alternative to mainstream, mass produced meat products, we can promise our customers that our chevon is not only delicious, but locally raised and hormone and antibiotic free. We sell retail cuts of chevon, sausage and kielbasa as it is available. We also sell half and whole goats on order.
While it's true that our locally raised chevon is more expensive than the factory-farm beef and pork or imported lamb you may find in the grocery store, you can take comfort in knowing our animals are raised locally, without the use of unnecessary antibiotics or growth hormones. We check each of our animals every day and ensure that they receive the best possible care through all stages of their lives. You can rest assured that the meat you purchase from us came from a healthy, well cared for animal. Once you have tried a well prepared, locally grown chevon roast, we are sure you will be back for more.
Q: What do you do with llamas?
A: Sara has been involved with raising, training and showing llamas for over 20 years and continues to do well with her llamas on the show circuit. In addition to being extremely trainable and good natured, our llamas act as guardians for our goats.
Llamas also make excellent pack animals, carrying up to one third of their body weight, can be trained to pull a cart, and produce wonderful fiber suited to a variety of uses. Other uses for llamas include public relations, education and animal assisted therapy.
Q: What's the difference between a llama and alpaca?
A: Llamas and alpacas are cousins - both are members of the camelid family from South America. They are genetically very similar, with the main difference being size. Alpacas are generally 150-200lbs as adults, where llamas usually weigh 250-400lbs.
Alpacas are bred primarily for their luxurious fiber. While some llamas have very high quality fiber akin to alpaca, they were originally developed as a beast of burden in South America and were selectively bred for temperament and conformational soundness.
Q: Are llamas related to emus?
A: No. Llamas are mammals; emus are birds. As such, llamas don't lay eggs or have wings or feathers. (You would be amazed how often we are asked this question!)