Not to be confused, Savanna's are a separate breed - Savanna goats are not Boer goats. They are a distinct breed of meat goat DNA verified. The Savanna breed, recognized as a distinct breed and duly noted by the formation of the Savanna Goat Breeders Society in South Africa on November 21, 1993. Found in the text "The Indigenous Sheep and Goat Breeds of South Africa", Dr. Quentin Peter Campbell suggests that the Savannah "probably developed from goats belonging to the Khosa people of the Ciskei and Transkei of the Eastern Cape. These indigenous goats were mostly white or roans or piebalds (having patches of black and white or of other colors-an animal that has spotting pattern or large unpigmented usually white". In 1801 Barrow wrote that "near the Hartebees River in the Northern Cape he encountered some Namaqua Hottentots possessing a herd of small handsome goats which were spotted like the leopard". Savanna's have an adaptable resistance against tick born diseases and other external parasites, as well as, hardy and adaptable. Their development in the hot arid bush of South Africa contribute to their heat and drought resistance. Their white coat and dark pigmented skin provide protection from UV rays. Range performance testing (Veld tests at Ellisras) indicate the Savanna's do not develop mouth or hoof problems (as seen with projecting lower jaws with some Boer goats). Their quality carcass & rapid growth make them truly desirable, not to mention the pure white color makes them sought after for religious slaughter.
Cilliers & Sons, Douglas, South Africa near the Vaal River, developed the white Savanna breed utilizing the indigenous goats in that area. Around 1957, Cilliers & Sons became the best known of all the developers of this meat goat breed. This particular area of South Africa is rugged and harsh bush country where rainfall and temperatures can vary markedly. Natural selection played a very important role in the development of this drought resistant & fertile breed requiring little or no maintenance. Too, it was noted that after crossing the Savanna with other breeds of goats, the Savanna kids got up faster and nursed quicker than the non-Savanna goats. Savanna's are distinctive and noted for their tough hide and white coat with dappled ears.
The Savanna, a meat goat breed, was first imported to North America by Jurgen Schulz in 1995. For many years the Schulz family had imported exotic animals from Africa for years and the popularity of Boer goats germinated the incentive for the business venture into the Savanna goat breed. A large shipment from Africa included Savanna, Boer and Dorper sheep. The entire group of imported livestock were quarantined In a USDA sanctioned station near Goldthwaite, Texas.
In 1998 the Shultz sold the entire herd of Savanna goats numbering 34 were sold through the Kifaru Exotics Sale Barn in Lampasas, Texas in December, 1998.
As quoted in the North American Savanna Association's web site, breeds of livestock, "once the backbone of the farming economies in many countries, were being replace by a few super breeds which ONLY PERFORMANCE (my emphasis) in ideal conditions. Irreplaceable genetic resources are being lost. Many of these native breeds have maintained humans for more than 10,000 years. There loss is not just a matter of heritage, it is very much about our future." Please see the North American Savanna Association's web site for additional information.
At Reflections Ranch our livestock is "Raised in Harmony with Nature", without the use of antibiotics or steroids. The fields upon with our livestock graze have received no inorganic fertilizers. Here at Reflections our livestock free ranges during the day and at night when their 'clocks strike sunset' they return themselves to the safety of their pens. Our livestock are wormed, receive a mixture of minerals & supplements with a free choice mixture of diatomaceous earth, kelp and salt as a limiter.