Friday, July 10, 2015

First Data Recorded

After a 13-d adjustment period, the first data was recorded for the 2015 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The eighty-four bucks were weighed on Thursday and Friday, July 9 and 10. The two weights were averaged to determine starting weights.

Starting weights ranged from 36.2 to 76.8 lbs. and averaged 53.1 + 8.1 lbs. The median starting weight was 51.9 lbs. Only four bucks were outside of the acceptable weight range of 40 to 70 lbs. 

Forage variety

During the adjustment period, the bucks gained an average of 4.1 + 3.4 lbs. Gain ranged from -5.1 to + 11.4 lbs. The median gain was 4.4 Lbs. Average daily gain (ADG) ranged from -0.39 to 0.87 lbs. per day and averaged 0.32 + 0.26 lbs. per day. The median ADG was 0.34 lbs. per day.

FAMACHA© scores improved from June 26. They ranged from 1 to 3 and averaged 2.0 + 0.6.  The median FAMACHA© score was 2.0. As expected, no goats required deworming. Body condition and coat condition scores remained relatively unchanged. Body condition scores ranged from 1.5 to 3 and averaged 2.4 + 0.3. Coat condition scores ranged from 2.00 to 2.75 and averaged 2.06 + 0.17.

Eating dwarf pearl millet grass

There was more variation in dag and fecal consistency scores, as several goats had loose stools. This is expected, as the goat adjust to their new diets and consume forages that are high in moisture.

All of the warm season paddocks are planted in dwarf pearl millet and sunn hemp.  In addition to the planted forages, there are numerous weeds, which the goats seem to eat with relish.  The goats were moved to a new paddock after today's data collection.

Daily supplementation with soy hull pellets

As of today, the goats are being fed 0.5 lbs. of soy pellets per head per day (in the morning). In several days, this will be increased to 0.75 lbs. per head per day. It will not be increased further, unless forage conditions deteriorate. This is not likely, as forage is plentiful, due to abundant rainfall.

The goats will be worked next on Thursday, July 23 to determine d-14 data.

Download July 9-10 (d 14) Report