Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 Maryland Meat Goat Test

No significant changes are planned for the 2010 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The test will be conducted from June 4 until October 2, 2010, at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center (WMREC) in Keedysville, Maryland.

Goats browsing during the 2009 testThe test is open to weanling male goats of any breed or breed cross, with or without registration papers or registration eligibility. The goats must be born between December 15, 2009, and March 20, 2010 (inclusive) and weigh from 35 to 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 4. The test is open to breeders from any state. A breeder may consign up to five goats. A maximum of 70 goats will be accepted for the 2010 test.

The nomination period is April 1 through May 15, 2010. A $20 nomination fee must accompany each nomination. The fee for testing a goat remains unchanged at $85 per goat. Nomination forms and other documents pertinent to the test may be downloaded from the blog after the first of the year. Nomination packets may also be requested via mail from Pam Thomas at (301) 432-2767 x315.

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test was initiated in 2006 to evaluate the performance of meat goats on a pasture-only diet with natural exposure to internal parasites. The test is most suitable for breeders who raise their goats mostly on pasture, with little or no grain supplementation.

A field day, sale, and skillathon will be held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro, MD, on Saturday, October 2. The top-performing bucks will be sold, along with does.

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