Thursday, June 17, 2010

Test officially begins

7 a.m. -- The goats were worked today by Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Jeanne Dietz-Band, and Susan Schoenian.  Data were recorded by Pam Thomas.

The first 12 days of the test served as an adjustment period. Official weights were determined by Jeff Semler. Starting weights ranged from 33 to 74 lbs. (15 to 34 kg) and averaged 46.2 lbs. (21 kg).  During the adjustment period, the goats gained an average of 1.7 lbs or 0.14 lbs. (64 g) per day. 

Kiko buck
Weight gain (or loss) varied considerably among the 72 goats and ranged from -10 to +11 lbs.  In general, the goats which were transported a farther distance seemed to put on more compensatory gain. 

FAMACHA© (eye anemia), body condition, coat condition, and dag scores were determined by Susan Schoenian.  Individual fecal samples were collected from each goat and mailed to Delaware State University for fecal egg count determination.  FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 5 and averaged 1.7, compared to 1.6 on June 4-5.  

Seven goats required anthelmintic treatment.  This was unexpected and attributed to treatment failure, as the goats were treated with both albendazole and moxidectin upon arrival on June 4-5.  Treatment failure can be the result of anthelmintic (drug) resistance and/or improper administration of the drug(s). 

Goats with FAMACHA© scores of 4 or 5 (and some 3s) were dewormed again with moxidectin and/or levamisole and put in the treatment pen  for several days of observation.  While in the treatment pen, they are fed hay and fresh grass.

Body condition scores (1-5) ranged from 2 to 3.5 and averaged 2.7. While average body condition scores do not change much during the test, individual goats that become parasitized, sick for other reasons, or fail to adjust or perform on a pasture diet can be expected to lose body condition.  Coat condition scores (1-3) ranged from 1.5 to 3 and averaged 2.2.  The low scores were usually a result of lice infestation.

Myotonic bucks
For the first time, dag scores were recorded.  Dag scores estimate the build-up of fecal material on the hindquarters of an animal.  They are a measure of scouring which can be a symptom of non-barber pole worm infections.  Scours can also be caused by diet and stress.

A scale of 1 to 5 is used to denote dagginess, with 1 being free from fecal soiling and 5 being very soiled. Dag scores ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 1.3.  More than 75 percent of the goats showed no evidence of scouring or fecal soiling.  Dag scores are a component of South Africa's new Five Point Check© for targeted selected treatment for internal parasites in small ruminants.

After today's working, the goats were given access to a two-acre paddock of cool season grasses.  They will be worked next on Thursday, July 1.

Download June 17 (d-0) report