Friday, August 9, 2013

Top-Performing Bucks, d-56

The table below summarizes the performance of the eleven (11) top-gaining bucks, as of day-56. Much can still change, as the goats will be weighed and evaluated two more times (August 21, September 5). Three more fecal egg counts will be factored into the data set (August 8, August 21, September 5). In addition, the goats will be scanned (to determine rib eye area) and evaluated for structural correctness and reproductive soundness.

The goal of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test has always been to identify bucks that meet performance standards for growth, parasite resistance, and parasite resilience. Some goats excel in one or two criteria, but seldom all three. Of the seventy-six (76) bucks still in the test, only seven (7) have not been dewormed. Only eleven (11) bucks are gaining more than 0.20  lbs. per day. So far, thirty-one (31) bucks have not had fecal egg counts above 2,000 epg. 

Top-performing buck (#388)

As of day-56, the top-performing buck in the 2013 test is #388 (Burke, DE). This is the only top-gaining buck that has not been dewormed or had a fecal egg count above 2,000 epg. The other top-performing bucks are #303 (Adams, IL) and #301 (Loos, IL). Both of these bucks have not had fecal egg counts above 2,000 epg, but were dewormed in July, when it was decided to deworm all goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3.

Most of the rest of the top-gainers, including the two top-gainers have all had fecal egg counts above 2,000 epg. They were also dewormed due to the decision to deworm all goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3. One top-gaining buck had a FAMACHA© score of 4 and required deworming. Another top-gainer has had two fecal egg counts above 2,000 epg.

Top-performing buck (#303)

Goats that were dewormed because they had FAMACHA© scores of 3 (in July) will not be automatically disqualified from the sale. However, high egg counts will disqualify a goat, as 41 percent of the goats in the test still have not had egg counts above 2,000 epg.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze performance standards will be determined after all data has been collected and analyzed. The early part of the test was particularly challenging for the bucks. While high egg counts have been recorded in other years, this year's test goats have faced a more significant clinical challenge.