According to the results of a survey, 82 percent of visitors to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test Blog (http://mdgoattest.blotspot.com/) would prefer to use a performance-tested buck. Four (4) percent favored "show" bucks, while 12 percent did not have a preference. Forty-seven (47) people responded to the online survey.
The purpose of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is to evaluate male goats for growth performance, carcass merit, and parasite resistance and to facilitate the marketing and use of top performing bucks.
The 2008 test is open to male goats of any breed or breed cross, approximately 3 to 5 months of age, and weighing a minimum of 35 lbs. (as of 6/7/08). A (slaughter) carcass component is being added to this year's test, which is conducted at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center (approximately 9 miles south of Hagerstown, MD).
The top 20 bucks in this year's test, based on performance ratios and minimum standards for reproductive soundness and structural correctness, will be sold at the 1st Annual Western Maryland Pasture-Based Performance Tested Buck and Invitational Doe Sale on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Consigners to the test will also be eligible to nominate does for the sale.
For information about the test, visit the blog at http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com/. Guidelines, protocol, and nomination forms for the 2008 test will soon be posted to the blog. Send an e-mail to Susan Schoenian at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to subscribe to the blog, so you'll receive blog entries vial e-mail.