Thursday, August 18, 2011

Better gains

The goats posted the best gains since the test began on June 10.  For this 14-day weigh period, gain ranged from -3 to +8 lbs. and averaged 3 lbs. or 0.212 lbs. per day. Only two goats lost weight. Seven goats maintained their weight.  The rest of the goats (n=69) posted positive weight gains.

For the period, the two top-gaining goats were Kiko and percentage Kiko bucks consigned by Merritt "Sam" Burke (DE). Four additional bucks consigned by Craig Adams (IL), Sam Burke, P.J. Murphy (NJ), and Kent Ozkum (MD) gained 0.5 lbs. per day from August 4 to August 18.

Luke Miller's top-gaining Boer x Kiko buck (August 18)

As of day-70, two bucks are tied for having the highest rate-of-gain (ADG):  a Savanna x Spanish buck consigned by Stephen & Janet Garrett (VA) and a Boer x Kiko buck consigned by Luke Miller (IN).  Since the test began, these bucks have gained 19 lbs. or 0.271 lbs. per day.

The next five top-gaining goats are Kiko and percentage Kiko bucks consigned by Sam Burke.  Burke's entire consignment of five bucks is gaining 0.257 lbs. per day. As of day-70, Burke is the top-consigner.

A Kiko buck from Sam Burke's top consignment (August 18)

No worm problems

Clinical parasitism is currently not a problem for the goats in the test.  Today's FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 3 and averaged 1.56 compared to 2.22 on August 4.  Some of the improvement in FAMACHA© scores may be attributed to scoring "bias," as Jeff (not Susan) scored the goats on August 4.  One goat was dewormed with levamisole (3 ml per 50 lbs.).

Body condition scores ranged from 1.5 to 3 and averaged 2.65 compared to 2.17 on August 4.  Again, some of the differences may be due to differences in scorers. Coat condition scores ranged from 1.5 to 2.5, with a similar average as recorded on August 4. Only one goat had a positive (1) dag score.

Grazing cool season grasses on August 18

After working today, the goats were given access to a 2-acre paddock of cool season grasses.  It is a good pasture, but also shorter than some of the others, which should result in the goats ingesting some infective worm larvae.

It is not possible to detect genetic differences in parasite resistance (fecal egg counts) and resilience (FAMACHA© scores) unless the goats are sufficiently "challenged."

Penned goats
Most of the goats in the pen are starting to gain better.  They are eating a lot of hay and consuming more pellets (ADM Goat Power) during their once-a-day feeding.  For this weigh period, gain ranged from 0 to 9 lbs. and averaged 5.4 lbs. or 0.386 lbs. per day.

Goats in the feed pen on August 15

For the first 70 days of the feeding period, gain has ranged -7 to +26 lbs. and averaged 0.193 lbs. per day.  As would be expected, the goats in the pen have higher body condition scores and lower FAMACHA© scores than the goats in the pasture test.

Download August 18 report