Zoo Map

Boer Goat

  • Order: Artiodactylia
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Genus: Capra
  • Species: hircus
Fun Fact

Goats discovered coffee! Legend has it that Kaldi, a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder, noticed his goats were acting strange - they were full of energy and "dancing" for some unknown reason. He discovered they were eating the berries of the coffee plant and he couldn't resist trying them himself.

View Exhibit Sponsor This Animal

About Boer Goats

Boer goats were developed for meat production in the early 1900’s in South Africa. Their name is derived from the Dutch word "boer" meaning farmer.

This breed of domestic goat typically has a white body with a brown head and ears. Their ears are long, similar in appearance to Nubian goat ears. Boer goats do well in hot, dry climates and seem to have a high resistance to diseases.

Boer goats are raised for milk and meat. Goat's milk is used for drinking and cooking, as well as making butter, cheese, yogurt, candy, ice cream, soap and skin care products.

Boer Goats at the Akron Zoo

The boer goats are currently off exhibit while their new habitat in under construction. The new goat habitat will be included in Pride of Africa, opening June 29, 2019!

Boer Goats in the Wild


Boer goats are well adapted for hot, dry semi-deserts.


Boer goats were developed in South Africa in the 1900's from a cross of indigenous goats and Indian or European goats and are bred mainly for meat production. They can be found in South Africa and the United States.


Boer goats are herbivores and are browsers by nature, preferring brush, shrubs and broadleaf weeds rather than grass.

Population Status

The IUCN's Red List has the Boer goat listed as “common.”

  back to view all animals