Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nomination Period Open

The nomination period is now open for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. It will extend until June 1. All nominations received by the deadline will be treated equally. Nominations have already been received for 8 goats.

The test is open to goat producers in any state, who may consign up to five male goats, of any breed or breed cross (with or without registration eligibility) to the test. The goats must have been born between January 1 and March 15, 2015. They must weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 26. Health papers are required.

Kiko buck with parasite resistance.
While on test, the goats will be evaluated for growth performance, parasite resistance, and parasite resilience. They will also be evaluated for structural correctness and reproductive soundness and be scanned to determine the size of their longissimus dorsi (rib eye) muslce. The ten top-performing bucks will be recognized.

After a 12-day adjustment period, the goats will be evaluated for 84 days. The test will conclude on October 2. While on test, they will be managed as a single herd. They will be rotationally grazed, among six ~ 2acre paddocks, composed of various cool and warm season perennial and annual plants. They will be supplemented with pelleted soybean hulls on a daily basis, 0.75 lbs. per day or approximately 1.5% of body weight.

The first half of the test (day 1-42) will served as a "growth challenge." The goats will graze "clean" warm season grasses and legumes. The second half of the test (day 42-84) will serve as a "parasite challenge." The goats will graze cool season grass paddocks that have been pre-contaminated with infective worm larvae (by sheep).

2015 Guidelines and Protocol
Nomination Form