Saturday, August 2, 2014


Despite supplementation and the availability of high quality forage, the bucks failed to gain weight during the past two weeks. For the first 56 days of the test, the bucks have not gained any weight (on-average). This lack of growth cannot be fully explained, nor can some of the weight fluctuations experienced by individual bucks, especially when they look good and have full bellies.

No gain
For the previous two weeks, gain ranged from -6.4 to 6 lbs. and averaged -0.6 ± 2.6 lbs.. The median gain was -0.3. Average daily gain ranged from -0.457 to 0.429 lbs. per day and averaged -0.040 ± 0.185 lbs. per day. The median ADG was -0.021 lbs. per day.

Top-gaining buck (Ballinger, KY)

For the period, the top-gaining goat was #408, a purebred Kiko consigned by Ballinger (KY).  Other top-gainers included #'s 409, 416 and 458, consigned by Barnes (KY), Barrack (VA), and Peters (NC), respectively.

408 is top-gainer
For the first 56 days of the test, ADG has ranged from -0.221 to 0.191 lbs. per day and averaged -0.002 ± 0.075 lbs. per day. The median ADG is 0.005 lbs. per day. The top-gaining buck is #408.  Three other bucks are gaining at least 0.10 lbs. per day:  #'s 409 (Barnes), 414 (Barrack), 444 (Majancsik, KY), and 453 (Patrick, GA).

Improved FAMACHA© scores
There was some improvement in FAMACHA© scores. FAMACHA© scores range from 1 to 4 and averaged 2.3 ± 0.5, compared to 2.5 ± 0.7 two weeks ago. The median FAMACHA© score was 2.  While only one goat had a FAMACHA© score of 4, eleven goats were dewormed with either levamisole or moxidectin. Goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3 were dewormed if they had one or more additional risk factors:  weight loss, scours, high fecal egg count, poor body condition, and/or rough hair coat.

Soft feces
Body condition, coat condition, and dag scores remained relatively unchanged, whereas fecal consistence scores declined. They averaged 3.3 ± 0.9, compared to 3.8 ± 0.6 two weeks ago. The softer stools are a reflection of the forage the goats are grazing. According to the forage test, the Sunn Hemp/millet mixture was 83.2 percent moisture (water), whereas the orchardgrass contained only 56.1 percent moisture.

Next two weeks
The bucks are now grazing a 2-acre paddock that was planted in dwarf pearl millet and cowpeas. This field has always been problematic, so it also contains a lot of weeds, which the goats are preferring to eat. A forage sample was collected, based on observations of what the goats were eating. It will be analyzed for nutritive content.

In the new field of cowpeas and millet

A pooled fecal sample was also collected. It will be analyzed to determine the nutritive content of the diet the goats consumed for the previous 36 to 48 hours. It will provide another measure of the quality of the Sunn Hemp/millet pasture mix.

The bucks continue to be supplemented daily with soy hulls. They are currently consuming 1/2 lb. per head per day.

Download July 31 (d-56) Report