Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sheep grazing at test site

A flock of sixty ewes and two rams has been grazing the goat test site since last Friday. The sheep have two jobs:  keep the grass from getting overgrown and depositing worm eggs onto the pasture.

Instead of giving the bucks an artificial dose of worm larvae, as was done last year, untreated sheep are being used to "seed" the pastures with infective worm larvae. Instead of removing a hay crop from the pastures, sheep are being used to control the early spring growth.

Last year, at the end of the goat test, sheep were brought in to remove the remaining forage. Later this month, four acres of the test site will be planted in a summer annuals.  Fencing renovations are still underway.

Sheep grazing at goat test site.

As of today (April 30), fifty-nine bucks have been nominated to the 2013 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Fourteen consigners from nine states (DE, KS, KY, IL, IN, MD, NC, NJ, and VA) have consigned two or more bucks to the test.  Six consigners are new to the test. Four are returning to the test after a one year absence.

Of the 59 bucks consigned, 47 are Kiko (or Kiko-influenced), 2 are Boer (or Boer-influenced), and the breeding of 10 is unknown at this time.

The nomination deadline is May 15.