Saturday, June 9, 2007

48 goats start 2007 test

Keedysville, MD -- Forty-eight (48) goats started the 2007 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The goats were consigned by 11 farms from five states: Maryland (2), Virginia (4), Pennsylvania (2), Delaware (2), and Kentucky (1). Several consigners participated in last year's test, while this year's test welcomed several new consigners, including two 4-H goat raisers.

The different breeds and crosses on testThe goats participating in this year's test represent several breeds and crosses: Kiko, Boer, Kiko x Boer, and Kiko x dairy. There are 41 bucks and 7 wethers on test. They range in weight from 30 to 80 lbs. for an average starting weight of 54.9 lbs. (24.9 kg).

Goats standing in footbath of zinc sulfateUpon arrival, the goats stood in a footbath of zinc sulfate (to prevent hoof problems). Their body condition and FAMACHA© scores were determined. Fecal samples were collected. Though no goat required deworming (FAMACHA© scores were mostly 1's and 2's, with a few 3's), they were dewormed with injectable Cydectin as part of the test protocol.

Four goats on test The goats will remain on test until October 6. They will be rotationally grazed on approximately 11.5 acres of pasture, mostly cool season grasses, though pearl millet has been planted to improve mid-summer grazing. The goats will not receive any supplemental feed while grazing. They will always have access to a central laneway containing port-a-hut shelters, mineral feeders, and water troughs. Minerals are being provided by Summit Ag Minerals of Pulaski, Virginia.

Boer x Kiko buck getting a drink of water This is the second year of the test. The test is open to any male goat born between December 15 and March 15.

Fullblood Boer buck standing proud Many of the goats on test will be available for sale via private treaty.