Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good gains, still no worm problems

6:30 a.m. -- The goats were worked today by David Gordon, Mary Beth Bennett, Jeanne Dietz-Band, Pam Thomas, and Susan Schoenian.

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 by Susan Schoenian and sent via overnite mail to Delaware State University and the University of Georgia, respectively.

Orchardgrass pasture fieldDavid Gordon weighed the goats. For the previous 14-day period, weight gain ranged from 0 to +9 lbs. (4.1 kg) and averaged 4.3 lbs. (2 kg) or 0.306 lbs. (139 g) per day. No goats lost any weight. The goats gained better than any previous period. For the period, the fastest gaining goat was a Kiko consigned by Wes Pinneo (Kansas). The buck gained 9 lbs. or 0.643 lbs. (292 g) per day.

Top 12 goatsFor the first 56 days of the test, the top gaining goat is a Kiko buck consigned by Craig Adams (Illinois). It has gained 21 lbs. (9.5 kg) or 0.375 lbs. (170 g) per day since June 18. The next three top gaining goats are Kikos consigned by Merritt Burke (Delaware). The bucks from Burke's consignment of five are averaging 0.303 lbs. (138 g) per day.

For all sixty goats, weight gain (or loss) has ranged from -4 lbs. (1.8 kg) to +21 lbs. (9.5 kg) and averaged 9.6 lbs. (4.4 kg) or 0.170 lbs. (77 g) per day since June 18. Differences in the goats are narrowing, as some goats that had not been gaining well posted some robust gains this period.

Craig Adams' top gaining Kiko buckFAMACHA© scores saw an improvement of almost a half of a score. Today's scores ranged from 1 to 3 and no goat required anthelmintic treatment. The average FAMACHA© score was 1.8 compared to 2.2 two weeks ago.

During the previous two weeks, the goats had been grazing chicory and orchardgrass. None of the forage is short, so perhaps this is keeping the goats from ingesting large amounts of infective worm larve.

Happy weed eatersAfter being worked today, the goats were given access to a 2-acre paddock that was planted with a mixture of (dwarf) pearl millet and turnips. Neither forage species came up well, thus the field is full of volunteer weeds, which the goats relish.

In the port-a-hutsThe goats will be worked next on Wednesday, August 26 -- a day early, due to Maryland State Fair commitments.

Download August 13 report