Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 42

The test is half over. For the first 42 days of the test, ADG ranged from -0.050 to 0.454 lbs. and averaged 0.206 + 0.165 lbs. per day. The median ADG is 0.226 lbs. per day. So far, the top-gaining buck is #548, a purebred Kiko consigned by P.J. Murphy (New Jersey). At almost 96 lbs, 548 is also the largest buck in the test. In fact, he's the largest buck in the 10 year history of the test.

After 42 days, the other top-gaining buck is #551, a 94% Kiko consigned by Waldo Nelson (Maryland). He is gaining only slightly less at 0.446 lbs. per day. The Murphy buck weighed 76.8 lbs. upon arrival, whereas the Nelson buck weighed 47.1 lbs, which shows that different sized bucks can perform at a high level.

For the first 42 days, the consignors with the top-gaining consignments are Murphy, Nelson, Mike Whelan (Kentucky), Randy & Jodie Majancsik (Kentucky), Patricia Larr (Indiana), and David Peters (North Carolina).

For the most recent weigh period, gain ranged from -4.4 to 8.0 lbs. and averaged 3.0 + 2.3 lbs. The median gain was 3.3 lbs. ADG ranged from -0.314 to 0.574 and averaged 0.217 + 0.165 lbs. per day.  The median ADG was 0.236 lbs. per day. Only seven goats have failed to gain weight since July 9. Since the start of the test, only two goats have failed to gain weight.

For the previous two weeks, the top-gaining buck has been the big Murphy buck (#548). Two other bucks gained 0.5 lbs. per day or more for the period:  #521, a purebred Kiko consigned by Sam Cottrell (Illinois), the Nelson buck (#551), and #598, a purebred Kiko consigned by Kent Slavens (Kansas). Cottrell and Slavens are both first-time consignors.

FAMACHA© scores remained relative unchanged. They ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 1.86 + 0.62. The median FAMACHA© score was 2.  Two goats were dewormed (with Cydectin®). Body condition and coat condition scores were also basically the same, 2.38 + 0.22 and 2.04 + 0.14, respectively. Few goats had positive dag scores. Fecal consistency score improved from 1.8 to 1.4 (1=pellets, 4=scours).

A pooled fecal sample was collected (from random goats) for larvae ID.  It was not possible to obtain fecal samples from two goats.

The second 42 days of the test are intended to serve as a "parasite challenge."  However, fecal egg counts from August 6 showed that the bucks are already facing a significant challenge. Despite high egg counts, resilience seems to strong. At least, so far.

The bucks currently have access to two 1-acre paddocks that they have previously grazed:  1 acre of dwarf pearl millet + sunn hemp and 1 acre of orchardgrass. They also have access to ~2.5 acres of silvopasture (mostly cool season grasses, with some browse).

It has been very dry for the past month or so. In fact, it rained today for the first time in approximately 30 days. The dry weather has limited pasture regrowth and will affect how the bucks are managed for the second half of the test. Their daily feeding of soy hull pellets is being increased to 1.0 lb. per head per day. With the bucks averaging 62 lbs., they are being supplemented at approximately 1.6% of their body weight.

Download August 20 (d-42) report