Monday, July 11, 2011

Grazing pearl millet

The goats began grazing a two-acre paddock of dwarf pearl millet on Thursday, July 7. In addition to providing nutritional feed, the field would have been free from infective worm larvae, i.e. until the first goat pooped! Hopefully, the goats will be able to put on some meaningful gains during this weigh period. They will be weighed next on July 20, a day early, due to a scheduling conflict.

A clean pasture
Proud Kiko buck (from West Virginia/Renick)

Plenty of grass
Top gainer, d-28 - Savanna-X (from Virginia/Garrett) 
Three studs
Boer vs. Kiko
A difference of opinion

While the situation is not as bad as last year, the test site has grown dry.  There is still another fresh paddock that the goats will be able to graze.  This paddock was added to the test last year.  It is a silvopasture of about 2 1/2 acres. It contains plantings of walnut trees and mixed hardwoods. The forages are cool season grasses.  The two acre field of (mostly) chicory could use some moisture to get it re-growing. The other cool season grass paddocks have some regrowth.

Moisture is also desirable for the parasites.  The barber pole worm requires warmth and moisture to complete its life cycle.  In order to compare the goats for parasite resistance (fecal egg counts) and parasite resilience (FAMACHA© and Five Point Check©), a significant parasite challenge is needed.