Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 goat test update

Documents pertinent to the 2012 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test have been updated and uploaded to the web. Links to the documents can be found under the heading Forms & Info in the right hand column of this blog.

Nomination packets which include all pertinent documents will be mailed to previous consigners in mid-March.  The nomination period is April 1 - May 15.  Each consigner may nominate up to five goats to the test.  A minimum of two is recommended.

This year's test will implement several changes.  The total cost to test a buck is $95.  This is a $10 increase from previous years.  There is a $20 nomination fee.  An additional $75 will be due when the goats are delivered to the test site on June 2.

Kiko buck from 2011 test

A public sale of the top-performing bucks will be held on Saturday, September 15.  It will be held at the test site as opposed to the adjacent county fairgrounds. A field day will not be held in conjunction with the sale. Bucks not sold for breeding or to a commercial buyer will need to be picked up on Sept. 15.

While on test, the goats will be artificially challenged with a low dose of infective (but anthelmintic-susceptible) worm larvae (L3). The purpose of the artificial challenge is to increase the exposure to parasites to determine which goats are more resistant and/or resilient to infection.

During the period of challenge, the goats will be more closely monitored for clinical signs of parasitism and the need for anthelmintic treatment. The artificial challenge will be administered under the guidance of a small ruminant veterinarian/parasitologist.

We will have a new person providing daily care of the goats.  More about that later.