Thursday, May 26, 2016

106 Bucks Consigned

So far, thirty (30) consigners from fourteen (14) states have consigned one hundred and six (106) bucks to the 2016 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Twelve (12) are first-time consigners. Eighteen (18) are returning consigners.

The nomination deadline is June 1 (next Wednesday). All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. Nominations must be postmarked, faxed, or e-mailed by the June 1 deadline to be eligible for the 2016 test. Consigners who mail their nominations next week should send an e-mail to Susan at  sschoen@umd.edu confirming their desire to nominate goats to the test. Sometimes, mail gets delayed.

As nominations have and will continue to exceed the test capacity, goat numbers will have to be reduced. Every effort will be made to include all consigners in the 2016 test.

Nine goats have been consigned to the Goat Performance & Carcass Contest. There is still room for more entries. There is no entry fee for the contest. Contest goats may be wethers or bucks.

If a consigner consigns five goats to the test and enters a goat in the carcass contest, there will be a $20/head discount per test goat. The discount will still be applied if a consignment of five has to be reduced to four in order to reduce test numbers.

Contest goats will be fed a hay and grain diet. They will be harvested at the end of the feeding period to collect carcass data. Test goats will be managed as a single group on pasture. They will be rotationally-grazed among six, ~2 acre paddocks containing a variety of cool and warm season grasses and legumes. They will be fed a daily supplement of whole barley.Test goats must be picked up (or sold) at the end of the test period.

State
Consigners
Test goats
Contest goats
Alabama
3
9
1
Georgia
1
4
0
Illinois
2
5
1
Indiana
1
5
1
Kansas
1
5
1
Kentucky
7
29
3
Missouri
3
9
1
New Jersey
1
5
0
North Carolina
4
14
1
Ohio
1
5
0
Oklahoma
1
3
0
South Carolina
1
2
0
Tennessee
2
5
0
Vermont
1
3
0
Totals
30
106
9


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sheep With a Purpose

Sheep are brought to the test site to graze down the early spring growth and to contaminate the cool season grass pastures with infective worm larvae. They are also brought in after the end of the test to graze the left over forage and eat the fall growing plants.

The sheep play an integral part in ensuring that the test goats face a sufficient parasite challenge. It's not possible to identify resistant and resilient bucks unless there is a sufficient worm challenge. It's not always pretty, but it's the only way to do it. High fecal egg counts are a goal of the test. Resistant bucks will maintain low egg counts (< 1000 epg, some < 500 epg) throughout the test period. Resilient bucks will have FAMACHA© scores of 1 or 2 and will not require deworming.


Three years ago, a DrenchRite® test was performed to determine which anthelmintics (dewormers) were effective against the parasites infecting the sheep.  The test showed the worm larvae (mostly Haemonchus contortus) to be susceptible to moxidectin (Cydectin®) and levamisole (Prohibit®), but NOT the benzimidazoles (fenbendazole/SafeGuard® and albendazole/Valbazen®). For this reason, clinically parasitized goats are only dewormed with Cydectin® or Prohibit® (at dosages recommended by the ACSRPC).

It's time to repeat the DrenchRite® test. Instead of doing the test with fecal matter from the sheep, fecal matter from the test goats will be submitted for testing. A pooled sampled will be collected from the goats after they have been grazing the test site for a month or so. All sheep and goat farms should test for anthelmintic resistance every 2-3 years. The DrenchRite® test is the most practical means to do so, though fecal egg count reduction tests can also be performed.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Eighty-eight Bucks

So far, twenty-four (24) consigners from thirteen (13) states have consigned eighty-eight (88) bucks to the 2016 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Seven (7) bucks have been entered into the new Performance & Carcass Contest.

The nomination deadline is June 1. Nominations are not closed. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. If nominations exceed test capacity (which they likely will), consignments will need to be reduced. No consigner will be refused.

The Performance & Carcass Contest still needs more goats. The goal is 10 to 15 male goats. There is no entry fee for the contest. Consigners who consign five bucks to the test and enter a goat in the carcass contest will receive a $20 per head discount. All of the contest goats will be harvested to collect carcass data.

State
Consigners
Test goats
Contest goats
Alabama
2
8
1
Georgia
1
4
0
Illinois
2
5
1
Indiana
1
5
1
Kansas
1
5
1
Kentucky
6
26
3
Missouri
3
9
1
New Jersey
1
5
0
North Carolina
2
6
0
Ohio
1
5
0
South Carolina
1
2
0
Tennessee
2
5
0
Vermont
1
3
0
Totals
24
88
8

Monday, May 16, 2016

Nominations Update

So far, nineteen (19) breeders from twelve (12) states have consigned seventy (70) bucks to the 2016 Western  Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Six bucks have been entered in the Performance & Carcass Contest.

State
Consigners
Test goats
Contest goats
Alabama
2
8
1
Georgia
1
4
0
Illinois
1
3
0
Kansas
1
5
1
Kentucky
5
21
3
Missouri
3
9
1
New Jersey
1
5
0
North Carolina
1
3
0
Ohio
1
5
0
South Carolina
1
2
0
Tennessee
1
2
0
Vermont
1
3
0
Totals
19
70
6

The nomination deadline is June 1. All nominations received (postmarked, faxed, or emailed) by the deadline will be treated equally. It is likely that nominations will exceed test capacity.

Nine consigners are new to the test. The test has its first consigner from South Carolina.  It's been a few years since there's been a consigner from Ohio. Ten consigners have previously consigned bucks to the test. Efforts will be made to include all consigners in this year's test. At the same time, Maryland residents and previous consigners will receive preference.

The bucks are handled every two weeks.

Of those that indicated breed on their nomination form, all bucks that have been consigned to the test are Kiko. Last year, all bucks were Kiko or Kiko influenced.  Kiko breeders should be commended for their interest and commitment to performance testing.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Consigner Featured in Magazine

The May 2016 issue of the Goat Rancher features Kiko goats and the herd of P.J. Murphy from New Jersey.

P.J. Murphy is a multi-year consigner to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. In the feature article, P.J. talks about how he values both central performance tests and on-farm performance recording. Over the years, P.J. has had many top-performing bucks.



The Goat Rancher is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. It provides excellent on-going coverage of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. You can subscribe to the digital version of the Goat Rancher at http://www.goatrancher.com/.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Nominations Update

So far, fifty-seven (57) goats have been nominated to the 2016 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Five have been entered in the Performance & Carcass Contest.

Seven of the consigners are new. Eight have consigned previously. The test welcomes both new and previous consigners.

State
Consigners
Test goats
Contest goats
Alabama
2
8
1
Georgia
1
4
0
Illinois
1
3
0
Kansas
1
5
1
Kentucky
3
13
1
Missouri
3
9
1
New Jersey
1
5
0
Ohio
1
5
1
South Carolina
1
2
0
Vermont
1
3
0
Totals
15
57
5

The nomination deadline is June 1. Nomination packets may be requested from Pam Thomas at (301) 432-2767 x315 or pthomas@umd.edu.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Twilight Tour & Tasting

The Twilight Tour & Tasting will be held Friday, July 8, 4 to 8 p.m. at the Washington County Agriculture Education Center in Boonsoro, and the Western  Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville.

The tasting part will include tasting dishes made from sheep and goat meats and cheeses. The tour part will include wagon tours of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test and Goat performance & Carcass Contest.

It is the 11th year of the test and 1st year of the contest.  Since 2006, the test has evaluated over 640 bucks from 84 consigners from 20 states. Top-performing bucks have sold to states as far away as California.

Chef Todd Morren

Todd Morren, a local chef will prepare several recipes utilizing local sheep and goat products. Shepherds Manor Creamery and Charlottetown Farm will be on site to hand out cheese samples. Dr. Joe Fiola, the University of Maryland Extension Viticulturist and Small Fruits Specialist will talk about matching wine with meat and cheese.

There will be a fiber demonstration by Budding Creek Farm and presentation on using small ruminants for vegetation control by Browing Green Goats. The event will showcase everything sheep and goats.

Pre-registration is requested by July 1. To pre-register, contact Pam Thomas at pthomas@umd.edu or (301) 432-2767 x315. The event is free but we need to make sure we have enough food. The event is open to the public.

http://www.sheepandgoat.com/#!twilighttour/ccd2