Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goats post moderate gains on millet pasture

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

Individual fecal samples were collected from the rectum of each goat.  Samples were sent via overnight mail to Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's lab at Delaware State University for fecal egg count (FEC) determination.  A pooled sample (comprised of fecal samples from random goats) was sent via overnight mail to Dr. Ray Kaplan's lab at the University of Georgia for fecal coproculture.

Jeff Semler (L) and E. Nelson Escobar (R)

Moderate gains
During the past two weeks in which the goats were grazing dwarf pearl millet, gain ranged from  -8 to +9 lbs. for an average gain of 2.6 lbs.  Average daily gain ranged from -0.571 to 0.643 lbs. per day for an average of 0.184 lbs. per day.  Eighty-three percent of the goats posted positive gains. John Smith and Bill Lowe had the top-gaining goats for the period.

Twelve goats lost weight during the last two weeks, but only one goat lost significant weight.  His loss can be partially explained by his FAMACHA© and dag scores:  3 and 4, respectively.

A top gainer:  #1 gained 8 lbs. in two weeks.

For the first 42 days of the test, average daily gain (ADG) has ranged from -0.095 to 0.50 lbs. per day and averaged 0.185 lbs. per day.  So far, the top-gaining goat is a Kiko buck consigned by Craig Adams (IL).

Wes Pinneo (KS) has the top-gaining consignment.  His five Kiko bucks are gaining an average of 0.314 lbs. per day.  Other top consigners are Craig Adams, Sam Burke, and Bill Lowe. The five goats in each of their consignments are averaging around 0.3 lbs. per day compared to the test average of 0.185 lbs. per day.

Environmental enrichment

Strong FAMACHA©  scores
FAMACHA©  scores were very strong.  They ranged from 1 to 3 and averaged 1.5, compared to 1.7 two weeks ago.  Only two goats were dewormed with levamisole (Prohibit®  drench, 3 ml/50 lbs.).  Both had FAMACHA© scores of 3 and other indicators which suggested the the need for deworming.

Loose stools
Body condition scores ranged from 1.0 to 3.5 and averaged 2.5, compared to 2.6 two weeks ago.  Coat condition scores ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 and averaged 2.1, compared to 2.2 two weeks ago.  Dag scores ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 1.7, compared to 1.4 two weeks ago. Almost half of the goats showed some evidence of current or past scouring. Some of this can be attributed to the fresh grass the goats have been grazing.

Waiting around

The two acre paddock of dwarf pearl millet is mostly depleted.  Without measurable rain, it is not likely to regrow.  Consequently, the entire pasture system has been opened for grazing. The goats still have access to a round bale of grass hay and protein tubs.  They still haven't touched the latter.