Goat meat has a significant worldwide market. International demand for processed goat meat has outstripped world supply in the last few years, resulting in 2005 prices being about double those in 1990. It has various names, depending on the place and language – for instance, kid-goat meat is called cabrito in Spanish and capretto in Italian. Chevon is a generic name used in some countries, but in New Zealand it is simply called goat meat.
The Boer goat comes from southern Africa and is primarily a meat goat. It is also known as Africander, Afrikaner or South African common goat. Improved Boer goats are large – does weigh more than 50 kilograms, and bucks up to 100 kilograms. Embryos of the breed were first imported from Zimbabwe in 1986, but the animals did not become commercially available until 1993, when they were released from quarantine.
Boer goats have a high fertility and rapid growth rate, and can produce quality carcasses. The Boer is also suited for crossbreeding to improve meat characteristics in feral or weed-control goats, or as a terminal sire (producing animals for sale, not to breed from) over dairy or fibre goats.
The Kiko breed was developed in New Zealand for meat production by crossing feral does with Nubian, Toggenburg and Saanen bucks. The Kiko herd book was closed in 1986 (all breeding animals had to be selected from within the herd). Kiko goats are about twice the weight of feral goats and can produce good amounts of meat under a variety of conditions.