Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goats maintain weight during hot spell

6:30 a.m. -- The goats were worked today by Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Mary Beth Bennett, and Susan Schoenian. Data were recorded by Pam Thomas and David Gordon.  Jeff Semler weighed the goats.  Susan Schoenian determined FAMACHA©, body condition, coat condition, and dag scores.

Up on the picnic table
Individual fecal samples were collected from the rectum of each goat.  Samples will be sent via overnight mail to Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's lab at Delaware State University for fecal egg count (FEC) determination.

No gain
During the past two weeks in which record high temperatures were recorded in Western Maryland, most of the goats simply maintained their body weight and condition.  On-average, the goats gained less than 1 lb. during the past two weeks: 0.62 lbs.or 0.04 lbs. per day.  Among individual goats, gain ranged from -7 to 10 lbs. or -0.5 to 0.714 lbs. per day. 

Field of dwarf pearl millet
The goat that lost 7 lbs. had been treated for scours during the previous week.  The goat that gained 10 lbs. seems to have recovered from Haemonchosis. His high rate-of-gain is attributed mostly to compensatory gain.  It's unclear why two goats lost 6 lbs.  Variations in fill probably accounted for some of the losses. Only eight goats lost more than 1 lb. during the past two weeks.

For the first 28 days of the test, average daily gain (ADG) ranged from -0.143 to 0.571 lbs. per day and averaged 0.164 lbs. per day (75 g/day).  So far, the top-gaining goat is a Kiko buck consigned by Craig Adams (Illinois).  Wes Pinneo (Kansas) has the top-gaining consignment.  Pinneo's five Kiko bucks gained an average of 0.359 lbs. per day for the first 28 days of the test.

Supplemental hay

7 goats dewormed
FAMACHA© scores (1-5) ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 1.68 compared to 1.80 two weeks ago. Seven goats were dewormed with levamisole (Prohibit® drench, 3/ml/50 lbs). Due to the early worm problems and questionable efficacy of the initial double-deworming, goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3 continue to be dewormed.  Only one goat had a FAMACHA© score of 4.  There were no 5 FAMACHA© scores.

Body condition scores (1-5) ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 and averaged 2.51, similar to two weeks ago. Body condition scores below 2 are often cause for concern.  Coat condition scores (1-3) ranged from 1.5 to 3.0 and averaged 2.19 compared to 2.14 two weeks ago.  Dag scores (1-5) ranged from 1 to 3 and averaged 1.41 compared to 1.49 two weeks ago.  No goats appeared to be actively scouring.  Two-thirds of the goats show no evidence of scouring at all.

Green grass

Better weather conditions
The heat spell broke last weekend. Temperatures are now more characteristic for Maryland (low 90's), though the level of humidity has increased, which is also characteristic for Maryland.  While varying amounts of rain have been falling throughout the state since last Friday, the test site has received less than 1 inch of rain since July 1.  The condition of the cool season grass pastures (5 acres) is still poor.

The dwarf pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) was deemed ready for grazing, so the goats now have access to two acres of lush green grass. Last Friday, a round bale of grass hay was put in the pasture.  The goats have access to it, and they have been feeding on it.  They have not consumed anything from the protein tubs.

In the port-a-hut