Thursday, September 15, 2011

Final day of data collection

The goats were worked for a final time today by Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Mary Beth Bennett, Jeanne-Dietz Band, Pam Thomas, and Susan Schoenian.  The goats were weighed by Jeff Semler and scored by Susan Schoenian.  Pam Thomas and David Gordon recorded data.

It was the second time in a row that the goats had to be worked in the rain.  The test site has received considerable rain in the past few weeks. The wet weather is likely why the goats did not gain much weight during this final weigh period, as their dry matter intake was probably reduced. The past few weeks of wet weather has also increased the parasite load in the goats, as evidenced by higher FAMACHA© scores and fecal egg counts.

Top-performing buck
Purebred Kiko buck consigned by Mark Sweitzer (PA)

For the last weigh period, gain ranged from -3 to +5 lbs. and averaged slightly less than 1 lb. (0.936).  Average daily gained ranged from -0.214 to + 0.357 lbs. and averaged 0.067 lbs. per day. Three goats gained five lbs. for the period:  two bucks consigned by Kentucky State University and a Boer buck consigned by David & Cindy Thorne (MD).

Smaller bucks often gain better later in the test, perhaps because they are less sexually active.  On the other hand, the rut did not seem to have any effect on performance.  Oftentimes, some of the larger, older bucks lose significant weight during the last two weeks.

FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged almost 2 (1.96), compared to 1.81 on September 1 and 1.56 on August 18. Thirteen goats with FAMACHA© scores of >3 were dewormed with levamsole (Prohibit® sheep drench @ 3 ml/50 lbs.).

Grazing on September 15

Because all the goats in the pasture test had to stand in the rain and had wet hair coats, coat condition could not easily be evaluated.  Most of the goats had similar body condition scores, as none of the goats in the test are at the more extreme ends of the body condition scale (1-5).  Only a couple of goats showed any signs of scouring and had positive dag scores.  Fecal consistency was good, with few soft stools and no active scouring.

For the 98-day duration of the test (June 10-September 15), gain ranged from -9 to +23 lbs. and averaged 12 lbs.  Average daily gain ranged from 0.092 to 0.235 and averaged 0.124 lbs. per day.  Only one goat failed to gain weight during the test period. This buck's weight loss is difficult to explain as the buck has been healthy throughout the test.  Two bucks did not finish the test.  One died and one was removed from the test due to an eye problem.

The data collected today will change the bucks that meet Gold, Silver, and Bronze Standards of performance and qualify for the sale next Saturday.  Some of the bucks that were included in the preliminary group of sale goats will fail to make the sale; others may move up.  Two more fecal egg counts need to be incorporated into the test results.

94-lb. buck in pen
Crossbred Spanish buck from Karen Cooper (KY)

In the pen
The goats in the pen gained 3.3 lbs. during the previous 14-day period, for an average daily gain of 0.238 lbs. per day.  For the 98-day period of the test, average daily gain ranged from 0.01 to 0.357 lbs. per day and averaged 0.232 lbs. per day.

The top-gaining buck in the pen is a 88% Kiko buck consigned by Randy and Loli Allen (TN). It gained 35 lbs. while in the pen.  Two goats that had been doing poorly in the pen did well the past four weeks. While the goats in the pen tended to gained better than those on pasture, two of the penned goats died (cause(s) unknown) before the end of the test period.

Download September 15 (d-98) report