Friday, December 8, 2006

West Virginia Meat Goat Evaluation

A trial run of a Meat Goat Performance Test was conducted this past summer at the West Virginia University Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, WV. Twenty-four (24) Boer cross bucks were evaluated using the GrowSafe™ system, which includes a series of feeding stations that only one animal can use at a time.

The bucks were evaluated over a 53-day test period. Each animal received a RFID tag, which enabled the computer system to record when and how much it ate. At the end of the test, system users determined each individual animal's feed efficiency.

Average daily gain for the entire test ranged form 0.46 to 1.12 lbs. per day for a group average of 0.66 lbs. per day. There was some difficulty with the bucks getting their horns stuck in the feeder.

The West Virginia Sheep Management Project is evolving into the West Virginia Small Ruminant Project, to include meat goats.

Source: News Ewe Can Use, Fall 2006

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