Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 Buck Test Update

Documents for the 2013 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Performance Test are available for download (from this blog).

2013 Letter to Consigners
2013 Guidelines and Protocol
2013 Nomination Form

The nomination period for the 2013 test is April 1-May 15. Nomination packets will be mailed to previous consigners in mid-March.  Nomination packets can also be requested by mail by contacting Pam Thomas at (301) 432-2767 x315 or

There are few changes to this year's test. This year, the goats will not be artificially challenged with worm larvae. The parasite challenge will be all-natural. The fee to test a goat will be $100, $20 due at the time of nomination.

Some of the bucks from last year's test.

Funding has been sought to repeat the pen vs. pasture study. If funding is received, 15 of the slots in the buck test will be needed for the pen vs. pasture study.

Bucks must be delivered to the test site on June 1.  Starting weights will be determined on June 13. Final data will be collected on September 5. Bucks not qualifying for the sale will need to be picked up on September 14. They can also be taken to a sale barn for disposition.

There will be several enhancements to the test site this year:  some new fencing, a cover over the handling system (which will also provide shade for the goats), and a new work platform, with a built-in digital scale.

There has been a change in plans, regarding the sale of top-performing bucks. The new plan is to sell the bucks at an "Elite Buck Sale" in Chatham, Virginia. The sale would be held in conjunction with a larger meat goat and hair sheep event. The reason for the change is to increase the demand for (and price of) performance-tested bucks. Details will be forthcoming.

Pen-fed goats in the foreground; pasture test in the background.

If you have any questions about the 2013 buck test (or pen vs. pasture study), contact Susan Schoenian at (301) 432-2767 x343 or

Information about previous buck tests is available at