Friday, November 22, 2013

On-Farm Performance Data

Bucks selected for breeding should excel in both pre- and post-weaning performance. Beginning in 2014, consignors to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test will be asked to provide on-farm performance data for the bucks they consign to the test. On-farm performance data will eventually become a requirement for participation in the test.

On-farm performance data should include data from all kids born on the farm:  sire, dam, birth date, birth weight (optional, but recommended), and weaning weight.  Dr. Ken Andries from Kentucky State University has agreed to process the data. Records will be adjusted for known environmental factors:  age, sex, type of birth and rearing, and age of dam. Performance and weight ratios will be calculated to allow comparison among contemporary groups of kids or adults.

The Kentucky State University Goat Herd Improvement Program (GHIP) is available to any goat producer and is designed to increase the availability and utilization of performance records.  The program offers producers an opportunity to have production records standardized and assistance in using performance data to select higher quality animals for replacements and to cull older animals based on performance.  This has resulted in herd improvement and increased performance without increasing production cost for producers.

Blank Herd Record Forms

Goat Herd Improvement Through Performance Testing (eXtension)