Friday, May 30, 2008

PA ram and buck test underway

The Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center is currently conducting its annual performance testing program for Ram Lambs and Meat Goat Bucks. Seventy-six ram lambs and 58 meat goat bucks, consigned by sheep and meat goat producers from Pennsylvania and other states, are participating in a growth trial.

Top performing rams and bucks from the program will be selected for the 2008 Pennsylvania Performance Tested Ram Lamb and Meat Goat Buck Sale to be held at the Samuel E. Hayes Jr. Livestock Evaluation Center on Aug. 2 at 1:00 P.M. Included in the sale are invitational ewe and doe consignments from producers with animals on test. All animals sold at the sale are considered flock or herd improvers.

Breeds consigned to the test include: Dorsets, 20; Suffolks, 29; Hampshires, 9; Cheviots, 4; Dorpers, 4; Polypays, 2; Shropshires, 2; Katahdins, 2; Royal Whites, 2; and Texels, 2. Goats include: 46 Full Blood Boers; 7 Percentage Boers; and 5 Percentage Kikos.

The rams and bucks range in age from three to nine months (beginning test) and will be tested for growth, muscling, and fat deposition over a 77-day period for rams and a 70-day period for goats. The genetic potential of the rams and bucks completing the testing program will be calculated using the collected data.

Upon finishing the test, rams and bucks are ultrasonically scanned for loin eye area and fat thickness, and undergo a breeding soundness exam. Sheep and meat goat producers can use this data to make important breeding and purchasing decisions that will bring more value to the consumer and more profit back to the farm.

Prior to the sale on Aug. 2, the Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association will be conducting a field day with youth and adult educational programs. Schedules for the field day including events and speakers will be included in the 2008 sale catalog.

For information on the current Ram Lamb and Meat Goat Buck Performance Test, or to receive test reports or a sale catalog, contact Glenn Eberly at 814-238-2527 or

For more information on the Livestock Evaluation Center and other performance testing programs and sales, visit the Center’s new Web site at