Monday, June 3, 2013

Maryland Buck Test Underway

Last week, 81 bucks (mostly Kiko) were delivered to the Western Maryland Research & Education Center (in Keedysville) to participate in the 2013 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. It is the 8th year of the test.

Twenty-two consigners from eleven states (AL, DE, KS, IL, IN, KY, MD, NC, NJ, PA, and VA) brought bucks to the test. Originally, 106 bucks had been nominated. Consignments were reduced to 85 to make sure the carrying capacity of the pasture was not exceeded, as 15 additional bucks will graze alongside the test bucks, as part of a pen vs. pasture study.

Some of the bucks in this year's test
While on test, the bucks will be managed as a single group on pasture, with no supplemental feeding. They will be evaluated for growth, parasite resistance, and parasite resilience. They will also be scanned to determine their rib eye area and be evaluated for reproductive soundness and structural correctness. Bucks meeting Gold, Silver, or Bronze standards of performance will be eligible to sell Saturday, September 21, at the Mid-Atlantic Small Ruminant Extravaganza in Chatham, Virginia.

To follow the progress of this year's test and learn more about meat goat performance testing, visit the blog at

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