Thursday, July 3, 2008

14-day report

Thursday, July 3, 6:30 a.m. - Due to the July 4th holiday, the goats were worked today by Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Mary Beth Bennett, Jeanne Dietz-Band, Cindy Mason, and Susan Schoenian. They were weighed. FAMACHA© and body condition scores were determined. Individual and pooled fecal samples were collected. The health of all goats was assessed.

David Gordon, Montgomery County (MD) 4-H/Ag Agent weighs a goat14-day growth rates were calculated from the June 20th starting weights. As during the 13-day adjustment period, the goats did not gain or lose any significant weight (as a group). Average weight loss was only 0.01 lbs. (4.5 g) per day. However, weight loss and gain varied considerably among individual goats and consignments. Some of the goats seem to be having difficulty adjusting to the test conditions.

For the first 14 days of the test, the top gaining goat was a Kiko buck consigned by Terry Hankins from Mississippi. Terry's buck gained 0.36 lbs. (164 g) per day. Duff Sandness (Kansas) and Jeanne Dietz-Band (Maryland) both had Kiko bucks that gained 0.29 lbs. (132 g) per day for 14-day period. All the goats from four consignments posted positive weight gains: Terry Hankins, Jeanne Dietz-Band, Don Smith (Virginia), and Duff Sandness.

Goats eating chicoryAverage body condition scores remained relatively unchanged, but several goats lost 0.5 to 1 units in body condition. Average FAMACHA© scores increased slightly from 1.65 to 1.94, but remain strong. FAMACHA© scores varied from 1 to 3 (1=red, 3=pink, 5=white). No goat required deworming, as the goats were treated with two anthelmintics (moxidectin and levamisole) 23 days ago.

A favorite resting place in the chicory fieldOn June 20, a new shade structure was erected (in the central laneway) to provide comfort to the goats during the dog days of summer. The structure is 20 ft. x 20 ft. x 8 ft (high). It was purchased from Farm Tek, with Northeast SARE funds. The shade cloth excludes 80 percent of sun light. A treatment pen was placed under the shade structure to aid in the treatment of any sick goat. Shelter is also provided via port-a-hut shelters. All of the shelters are secured to the ground.

Forage conditions have improved. The goats have been grazing chicory for the past several days. The pearl millet is ready for grazing. The fields that were recently cut for hay are greening up.

New shade structureThe goats will be worked next on Friday, July 18. Hopefully, the improved forage quality will result in better weight gains. Internal parasites (worms) are expected to be more of a problem as the test advances, particularly if adequate moisture is received.

Download July 3 report
View pictures of goat test at Flickr™