Monday, June 9, 2008

Goat Pasture Test Begins

Sixty-two (62) fullblood and percentage Kiko and Boer and crossbred male goats from 20 consigners from 10 states began the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test on June 7. Eighty-one (81) goats had been nominated for the test, but only 62 were accepted, due to the limitations of the pasture resource (10 acres).

goats standing in foot bathWhile on test the goats will be evaluated for growth performance, parasite resistance, and carcass merit. They will consume a pasture-only diet, unless pasture conditions (e.g. drought) necessitate nutritional tub or forage supplementation. The goats will always have access to a central laneway containing shelters, water, minerals, and the handling system.

The goats will be handled every 14 days to determine body weights, body condition scores, and FAMACHA scores. Fecal samples will be collected every 14 days until the goats require deworming. The goats will be ultrasounded for carcass traits towards the end of the class. Some of the goats will be slaughtered to collect actual carcass data.

The top 20 bucks will be eligible to sell at the 1st Western Maryland Goat Field Day and Performance-Tested Buck and Invitational Doe Sale on October 4 at the Washington County Agricultural Center in Boonsboro, MD.

Consigners to the goat testDr. Dan Waldron from Texas A&M University will be the featured speaker at the field day. Consigners to the goat test can nominate doelings for the sale. They are being encouraged to nominated does that are half-sibs to the bucks on test.

To learn more about the goat test, visit the blog at Ask to be added to the goat test e-mail list, so you'll receive blog entries via e-mail. The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is sponsored by the University of Maryland.

View Flickr images from test site
Download report from June 7
Visit goat test blog