Friday, August 14, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer

The test is almost half over.  Next Thursday (August 20) will mark 42 days. This week has been very pleasant, with low humidity (at least for Maryland!).  After a wet start, it has been very dry for the last month or so. Goats generally fare better in dry weather, so long as there is enough forage to eat.

After 7 days of grazing

Since last Thursday, the goats have been grazing a 2-acre paddock of dwarf pearl millet and sunn hemp. They have eaten most of the "good stuff." Few leaves remain on the stalks of sunn hemp. Unfortunately, the paddock contains a "healthy crop" of fox tail, which the goats do not prefer.

The Sunn Hemp has been stripped mostly clean.

The goats also have access to the silvopasture, which contains ~2.5 acres of mostly cool season grasses, with some browse. The silvopasture is in the back part of the grazing system, so, the goats had to be "reminded" that they still had access to it.

Silvopasture (August 3)

After working next Thursday, the bucks will be moved to the cool season paddocks to begin the "parasite challenge" portion of the test. The cool season paddocks are planted mostly in MaxQ™ tall fescue and orchardgrass. There is also a lot of volunteer clover.

At 0.35 lbs. per day, #550 is one of the top-gaining bucks.

The daily consumption of soy hull pellets should help the goats deal with the upcoming parasite challenge.  The results of the August 6 fecal egg counts are still pending.