Monday, September 15, 2014

Performance Begets Performance

This year's two top-performing bucks, consigned by Jodie & Randy Majanscik KY) and Linda Heise (PA), respectively, were sired by top-performing bucks in previous tests. Linda Heise's other top-performing buck was also sired by a top-performing buck from a previous test.

Majanscik's top-performing Kiko buck (441) was sired by a top-performing Kiko buck they purchased from John Smith (VA) in the 2012 sale.


Linda Heise's top-performing Boer x Kiko buck (434) was sired by a top-performing Boer buck she purchased from Sherrie Losch (PA) in the 2011 sale.


Linda Heise's other top-performing buck (433) was sired by a top-performing buck she purchased P.J. Murphy (NJ) in the 2011 sale.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Recap

This was the 9th year of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. 


Read the Recap of this year's test.

Best Maryland Buck

Waldo Nelson received an award for having the Best Maryland Buck in the 2014 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Waldo's Kiko x Spanish buck was in the top-ten, excelling in all traits the test measured.

Top Maryland Buck
Waldo & Christy Nelson

Waldo's consignment of three bucks was also among the top-performing in the test. His bucks grew especially well during the last 4 weeks of the test.

Waldo has participated in the test since 2011. In 2012, he had one of the most parasite resistant bucks in the test. It qualified for the sale and sold to a farm in West Virginia.

Waldo's farm is located in Quantico, Maryland, on the Lower Easter Shore.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Award Winners

The top-performing buck in the 2014 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test was a Purebred Kiko consigned by Randy & Jodie Majanscik from Butler, Kentucky.

Top-performing Buck
Randy & Jodie Majanscik

The second best performing buck in the 2014 test was a Boer x Kiko consigned by Linda Heise from St. Thomas, Pennsylvania. Linda is a first time consignor. She had a second buck in the top ten, another Kiko cross.

Both of the top-performing bucks were sired by top-performing bucks from previous tests. The Majanscik buck was sired by a Kiko buck purchased in 2012 from John Smith (VA). The Heise buck was sired by a Boer buck purchased in 2011 from Sherrie Losch (PA). Both of the top-performing bucks are bound for California.

An award is presented to the consignor with the three top-performing bucks. This year's top consignor award was shared by Randy & Jodie Majanscik and Brent Ballinger. The Majansciks were also the top consignor 2012, the first year they participated in the test. Brent Ballinger is a first-time consignor from Bardstown, Kentucky. Brent had two bucks in the top-ten, including the number 3 performer, which sold to a buyer in Maryland.

Top consignors
Randy & Jodie Majanscik (L) and Brent Ballinger (R)

The most parasite resistant buck in the test was a Purebred Kiko consigned by Craig Adams from Litchfield, Illinois. Its average fecal egg count was 390 epg, based on six samples. Its highest FEC was only 850 epg. The second most resistant buck in the test was a Purebred Kiko consigned by Kendell & Dana Barnes from Winchester, Kentucky. It had similar data to the Adams buck. Both Adams and the Barneses have a history of consigning bucks with good fecal egg count data.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sale Bucks Chosen

Ten bucks have been selected for the sale. The Bluegrass Performance Invitational will be held Saturday, September 6, at 1 p.m, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Five bucks met the Gold, Silver, or Bronze standards of performance for growth (ADG), parasite resistance (fecal egg counts), and parasite resilience (FAMACHA© scores and number of anthelmintic treatments). Five additional bucks were selected for the sale. Selection was based on similar criteria.




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Parasite Resistance and Resilience

With regards to internal parasites, resistance and resilience are two different traits, with different heritabilities. Resistance is the ability to prevent infection. It is quantified by fecal egg counts (FECs), which are an estimate of the number of worms in the animal's gut.

Bucks which shed a lot of eggs onto pasture are not desirable, regardless of their growth rates and other qualities, because they will serve as a constant source of pasture contamination. Even if they don't require deworming, other more susceptible animals may. More importantly, bucks which are not resistant to parasites will sire kids that are more likely to be heavy egg shedders. Parasite resistance is more important in bucks than does because a buck will produce many more offspring than a doe.


Resilience is the ability to tolerate parasitic infection. It is quantified by FAMACHA© scores, which are an estimate of packed cell volume (PVC), a measure of red blood cells. The additional criteria in the Five Point Check© are also measures of parasite resilience:  bottle jaw, body condition, coat condition, and scours, as is weight loss/gain.

It is obvious why you want a buck that is resilience to internal parasites. He will not require deworming or he will require fewer treatments than other goats. Many of his offspring will also be less likely to require frequent treatment. Parasite resistance and resilience are genetically correlated. Historically, the correlation has been weak to moderate among the bucks in the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

To qualify for the sale, a buck must excel in both parasite resistance and resilience, in addition to growth. This year, fecal egg counts were especially high, making it difficult for many bucks to meet the Gold, Silver, or Bronze Standards for parasite resistance.  However, eleven bucks met at least the Bronze standard of performance for parasite resistance:  no fecal egg count above 2000 epg and an average FEC of less than 1000 epg. However, many of these bucks did not meet the performance standards for growth (ADG).

Many more bucks met the standards for parasite resilience, which do not allow more than one anthelmintic treatment nor FAMACHA©  scores of 4 or 5. Bucks with  FAMACHA©  scores of 3 were sometimes dewormed if they displayed additional risk factors, e.g. weight loss, poor body condition, and scours. A buck that was dewormed once, with a FAMACHA©  score of 3, can still qualify as a Bronze buck, if he meets all other standards of performance.

Final egg counts soar
Fecal egg counts on August 28 ranged from 75 to 16550 epg and averaged 3710 ± 3047 epg. The large standard deviation indicates there was a large variation in egg counts, among the 71 bucks that finished the test. The median egg count was 2825 pg. Hopefully, the administration of copper oxide wire particles (0.5 g) will reduce egg counts in the bucks, as they leave the test.

Parasite Resistance (FEC) Summary
Parasite Resistance (FEC) Rankings

Parasite Resilience (FAMACHA©) Summary
Parasite Resilience (FAMACHA©) Rankings

ADG Summary

The first 42 days of the test served as a "parasite challenge." The bucks grazed cool season grass paddocks that had pre-contaminated with infective worm larvae (by grazing sheep). Upon arrival, the bucks were dewormed with anthelmintics from each anthelmintic class:  albendazole, moxidectin, and levamisole.

For the first 42 days of the test, average daily gain (ADG) ranged from -0.243 to 0.229 lbs. per day and averaged 0.014 ± 0.083 lbs. per day. The top-gaining buck was #479, a purebred Kiko consigned by Jill Zink (IN).

The second 42 days of the test (d 42-84) served as a growth challenge. The bucks grazed warm season grasses and legumes. On day 42, they were given a gel cap containing 0.5 grams of copper oxide wire particles (COWPs).

For the second 42 days of the test, ADG ranged from -0.171 to 0.340 lbs. per day and averaged 0.100 ± 0.130 lbs. per day. The top-gaining buck was #441, a Purebred Kiko consigned by Jodie Majancsik (KY).

For the full 84 days of the test, ADG ranged from -0.119 to 0.220 lbs. per day and averaged 0.057 ± 0.077 lbs. per day. The top-gaining buck was the Majanscik buck (441).

Download ADG Summary
Download ADG Rankings