Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nomination Period Open

The nomination period is now open for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. It will extend until June 1. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. Nominations have already been received for 8 goats.

The test is open to goat producers in any state, who may consign up to five male goats, of any breed or breed cross (with or without registration eligibility) to the test. The goats must have been born between January 1 and March 15, 2015. They must weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 26. Health papers are required.

Kiko buck with parasite resistance.
While on test, the goats will be evaluated for growth performance, parasite resistance, and parasite resilience. They will also be evaluated for structural correctness and reproductive soundness and be scanned to determine the size of their longissimus dorsi (rib eye) muslce. The ten top-performing bucks will be recognized.

After a 12-day adjustment period, the goats will be evaluated for 84 days. The test will conclude on October 2. While on test, they will be managed as a single herd. They will be rotationally grazed, among six ~ 2acre paddocks, composed of various cool and warm season perennial and annual plants. They will be supplemented with pelleted soybean hulls on a daily basis, 0.75 lbs. per day or approximately 1.5% of body weight.

The first half of the test (day 1-42) will served as a "growth challenge." The goats will graze "clean" warm season grasses and legumes. The second half of the test (day 42-84) will serve as a "parasite challenge." The goats will graze cool season grass paddocks that have been pre-contaminated with infective worm larvae (by sheep).

2015 Guidelines and Protocol
Nomination Form

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Deworming Protocol

One of the primary goals of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is identification of bucks that are both more resistant and resilient to internal parasites.

The following document may help to answer some of the questions many people have about the test's deworming protocol.


Deworming Protocol

Friday, March 20, 2015

Nominating Goats To The 2015 Test

The nomination period for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is April 15-June 1. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. If nominations exceed test capacity, preference will be given to Maryland residents and previous consignors.

Nomination packets will be mailed to previous consigners (2013, 2014) around April 1. Anyone can request a nomination packet by contacting Pam Thomas at pthomas@umd.edu or (301) 432-2767 x315. In addition, all documents pertaining to the 2015 test can be downloaded from this blog. You'll find links to pertinent documents under Forms and Info in the right hand column of the blog.

The goats will start the test on warm seasonal annuals.

Any goat producer is eligible to consign up to five male goats to the test. The goats may be of any breed or breed cross, with or without registration eligibility. They must have been born between January 1, 2015, and March 15, 2015, and weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 26. 

The fee for testing a goat this year is $120. A $20 nomination fee must accompany each goat nomination. The balance ($100) will be due when the goats are delivered to the test site on June 26.  Checks should be made payable to the MPWV Meat Goat Producers Association, as they are cosponsor of this year's test.

A $20 per head discount will be offered to Maryland residents, members of the MPWV Meat Goat Producers Association, as well as consignors who nominate five half-sibs (same sire) or whose herds are enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP). NSIP calculates estimated breeding values (EBVs) for meat goats (and sheep). Discounts are not cumulative.

Identifying parasite-resistant bucks is a primary goal of the test.

This year's test will implement several changes, so be sure to read the 2015 Guidelines &  Protocol before sending in your nomination form. Health requirements remain unchanged from a year ago. All goats just be accompanied by either an intrastate (Maryland consigners) or interstate (out-of-state consignors) certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI).  All goats must carry official USDA scrapie ID.

If you  have questions about this year's test, please contact Susan Schoenian at sschoen@umd.edu or (301) 432-2767 x343. 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Only consignors to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test are eligible to consign does to the Bluegrass Performance Invitational to be held September 4-5, 2015, in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is recommended that some of this year's top-performing bucks be returned to their farms of origin and be sold at the 2016 Bluegrass Performance Invitational. For more information about this sale, contact Jarred Dennison at Jarred@jdranchkikos.com or (502) 875-8857.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bluegrass Performance Invitational

The 2015 Bluegrass Performance Invitational will be held September 4 and 5 at Lakeview Park in Frankfort, Kentucky. All consignors to the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based  Meat Goat Performance Test are eligible to consign to the sale.

If you are interested in being a consignor to this year's sale, please go the website and review the sale rules for complete details . Consignment sheets must be postmarked by April 30th to qualify for the sale.

For additional information, contact Jarred Dennison at (502) 395-0237.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Goats Replace Soldiers and Prisoners

The federal government built Fort Saulsbury, at the edge of the marsh near Slaughter Beach, in 1917 when World War I was getting into full swing. On 160 acres of sandy soil studded with native cedars, the fort consisted of two heavily fortified concrete bunkers and several support buildings.

Sam (L) and and his son Laurence (R)

During World War II, prisoners of war replaced the shells and powder and soldiers in the bunkers and buildings of Fort Saulsbury. These days, sheep and goats graze atop the bunkers and on open ground where barracks, an infirmary and other fort-associated structures stood. The Sam Burke family bought the property in 2002. 

 “We brought a few goats up here to get the vegetation under control, and they did so well we decided to try our hand with them,” said Sam Burke. Now, he said, Cedar Creek Farm -- known previously as Fort Saulsbury -- has a reputation for the quality of the Kiko goats it produces.

Read full article at CapeGazette.com

Cedar Creek Farm (Sam Burke) is a long-time consignor to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter 2015 Wild & Woolly

The Winter 2015 issue of Wild & Woolly is now available. Wild & Woolly is a quarterly newsletter for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in small ruminants. It is published by University of Maryland Extension It provides complete coverage of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Winter 2015 Wild & Woolly - HTML
Winter 2015 Wild & Woolly - PDF

Winter 2015 Wild & Woolly via ISSUU

You can subscribe to the newsletter listserv to receive an e-message when a new issue of the newsletter has been published.  To subscribe, send an e-mail message to listserv@listserv.umd.edu. In the body of the message, write:  subscribe sheepandgoatnews.  You can also follow ISSUU to receive notification of new newsletters.

Printed copies of Wild & Woolly are available via mail for a cost recovery fee of $10/year. Checks payable to the University of Maryland should be send to Western Maryland Research & Education Center, 18330 Keedysivlle, MD  21756.