Saturday, August 18, 2012

Egg counts still climbing

For the fecal samples collected on August 9, fecal egg counts ranged from 167 to 6,700 eggs per gram (epg) and averaged 1,868 ± 1,311 epg.  All samples had worm eggs. Fecal egg counts averaged 1,316 ± 1,303 two weeks prior; thus egg counts are continuing to climb.

On August 9, thirty-seven percent (n=18) of the bucks had fecal egg counts below 1,000 epg, the Gold standard of performance for parasite resistance (high egg count). Fifty-one percent (n=25) had fecal egg counts below 1,500 epg, the Silver standard of performance. Sixty-seven percent (n=33) had fecal egg counts below 2,000 epg, the Bronze standard.

As of August 9, twelve bucks (24%) are meeting the Gold standard of performance for parasite resistance (average fecal egg count). Their five fecal egg counts are averaging less than 500 epg. Randy and Jodie Majancsik (KY) have four bucks that are meeting the Gold standard. Jarred Dennison (KY) and Sam Burke (DE) each have two bucks that are meeting the Gold standard.

An additional 16 bucks (33%) are meeting the Silver standard of performance for parasite resistance, having average fecal egg counts of less than 750 epg. Eight (16%) more have egg counts that average less than 1,000 epg and are meeting the Bronze standard for parasite resistance (average fecal egg count).

Two more fecal egg counts will be factored into the data set. Individual samples will be collected on August 22 and September 6. One more pooled sample will be collected (on August 22).

Fecal egg counts are an estimate of the worm load that a goat is carrying. Only adult barber pole worms lay eggs. FAMACHA© scores are a measure of anemia (blood loss), the clinical symptom of Haemonchosis. Both adult worms and immature (L4) worms suck blood.

Data from previous buck tests has shown a small negative correlation between fecal egg counts and FAMACHA© scores, meaning that goats with high egg counts tend to have poorer FAMACHA© scores, but the correlation is not strong. In the test, fecal egg counts are not used to make deworming decisions.

For a buck to be eligible to sell at the sale on September 15, it must meet Gold, Silver, or Bronze standards of performance for growth (ADG), parasite resistance (average and high fecal egg count), and parasite resilience (FAMACHA© scores and # of anthelmintic treatments). A Gold buck must meet the Gold standard for all three traits.  In addition, all sale bucks must meet minimum standards for structural correctness and reproductive soundness.

The bucks will be scanned on August 22 and will be evaluated for structure and reproductive soundness on September 6. The goats in the pen vs. pasture study will be harvested on September 7. Their carcasses will be deboned and measured the following week.

Download August 9 FEC Report
Download August 9 FEC rankings