Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 28

7 a.m. -- The goats were worked today by Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Mary Beth Bennett, Shannon Uzelac, Nelson Escobar, Susan Schoenian, and Pam Thomas. A veterinary student from Virginia Tech visited the test site to gain experience with meat goats and assessing FAMACHA© scores.

FAMACHA©, body condition, and coat condition scores were determined by Susan Schoenian. Data was recorded by Pam Thomas. Individual and pooled fecal samples were collected and sent via overnite mail to Delaware State University and the University of Georgia.

Goats relaxing on the rocksJeff Semler weighed the goats. For the previous 15-day period, weight gain (or loss) ranged from -5.0 lbs. (2.3 kg) to +12.0 lbs. (5.5 kg) and averaged 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) or 0.221 lbs. (100 g) per day.

For the period, the top gaining buck was a Kiko consigned by Merritt Burke (DE). It gained 12 lbs. (5.5 kg) or 0.80 lbs. (364 g) per day. Merritt Burke had another Kiko buck that gained 11 lbs. (5.5 kg) or 0.73 lbs. (332 g) per day. Craig Adams (IL) also had a Kiko buck that gained 11 lbs.

The better gains are attributed to cool weather (mostly in the 80's), low humidity, and preferred forages. During the past two weeks, the goats have been grazing paddocks containing chicory, pearl millet, brassicas, and weeds. They are currently grazing a field in which a sericea lespedeza planting failed. The field contains mostly volunteer weeds which the goats seem to relish.

In the weed fieldFor the first 28 days of the test, two Kiko bucks are tied for having the highest average daily gain: consignments from Merritt Burke (DE) and Craig Adams (IL). Their bucks have gained 15 lbs. (6.8 kg) or 0.54 lbs. (245 g) per day since June 18.

For all of the goats, weight gain (or loss) for the first 28 days ranged from -9.0 (4.1 kg) to + 15.0 lbs. (6.8 kg) and averaged 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg) or 0.149 lbs. (67.7 g) per day.

Despite limited rainfall in the past month, internal parasites (worms) are starting to become more of an issue. FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 2.1, compared to 1.7 on July 1. Five goats required anthelmintic treatment and were administered Cydectin® 1% injectable at a dose of 1 ml per 110 lbs. Body condition scores declined slightly. Coat condition scores did not differ.

A mouthful of weedsAfter working, the goats were given continued access to the weed field. The goats will be worked next on Thursday, July 30.

Download July 16 report