Connor Murphy’s Boer doe, Queen, showed her royal colors at the California State Fair.
The two-toned beauty took Connor, 12, to a second place finish in the show ring last week – a monumental task considering the quality and quantity of show animals on display at the state’s largest exhibition in Sacramento.
Murphy also placed second with Amber, a solid red Boer doe, and received second place in showmanship and second place in breeding.
“The State Fair is a little different than the county fair,” Murphy said. “There are a lot of competitors.”
Murphy, the son of Sean and Adrian Murphy of Arbuckle, finished his two-week stint at the California State Fair on Friday, showing a market wether and two wether-producing does his first week, and his breeding stock, Amber and Queen, the second week.
Murphy, who has been in 4-H seven years, started out showing pygmy goats and sheep. He has raised Boer goats for three years under the name CM Livestock Company, and the 2017 California State Fair was his third exhibition.
Murphy said a great deal of work went into preparing for the State Fair, including grooming his goats to look good for judging. Murphy had help from his mother and grandmother, Tonya Davis of Willows, who helped make sure the animals remained safe and confortable during their stay at Cal Expo.
Amber and Queen have not yet had offspring, but Murphy said he hopes to breed both this coming year to produce market and breeding stock.
Boer goats, which were developed in South Africa, are a popular breed of meat goats, although visitors to the State Fair saw a variety of other bovidae, including Nigerian dwarf goats, known for their milk, and pygmy goats, which are often kept as mischievous pets.
“I like goats a lot better than sheep,” Murphy said. “They have more personality.”
Prior to showing at the State Fair, Murphy took his own money this year to sponsor the “Born and Bred in Colusa County” category for goats at the Colusa County Fair in June.
Murphy won reserve champion market goat at that fair, and Champion 4-H Born and Bred with a wether out of his own herd.
Murphy’s goal is to encourage other youth to raise their own fair animals or purchase their livestock locally.
Murphy now has eight goats in his herd, and plans to continue showing goats at various exhibitions through high school.
He plans to show his breeding stock at the Yuba Sutter Fair, Aug. 3-6. ■