Thursday, September 17, 2015

Day 70

The lack of gain is most probably the result of dry weather and lack of forage regrowth. An increase in rutting behavior may also be having a negative impact on gain. For the past two weeks, gain ranged from -5.6 to 5.2 lbs. and averaged 0.23 + 2.37 lbs. The median gain was 0.30 lbs.

Average daily gain (ADG) ranged from -0.400 to 0.371 lbs. per day and averaged 0.016 + 0.169 lbs. per day. The median ADG was 0.021 lbs. per day. The large standard deviations for gain and average daily gain indicate a very wide fluctuation in growth performance.

Ready for working

For the period, the top-gaining goat was 543 (Maynard-Dishman). Other top-gainers were 501 (Adams, IL), 525 (Dennison, KY), 539 (Majancsik, KY), and 581 (Weber, IL). These four bucks gained 4 lbs. or more during the past two weeks.

For the first 70 day of the test, ADG has ranged from -0.051 to 0.303 lbs. per day and has averaged 0.145 + 0.079  lbs. per day. As of day 70, 555 (Nelson, MD) and 539 (Majancsik) are the top-gaining goats in the test. Other top gainers include 558 (Peters, NC), 577 (Smith, VA), 584 (Weber), 586 (Whelan) and 592 (Wilborn, AL). Each of these five bucks is gaining more than 0.25 lbs. per day for the duration of the test.

FAMACHA© scores were similar to two weeks ago, ranging from 1 to 4 and averaging 2.26 + 0.30. The lower standard deviation indicates that there was less variation in FAMACHA© scores than there has been. The lower standard deviation also resulted in a higher median FAMACHA© score (2.25).

Getting weighed

Eight goats were dewormed with either Cydectin®  or Prohibit®. Two goats had FAMACHA© scores of 4. The other six goats had FAMACHA© scores of 3 and were dewormed due to additional risk factors, such as multiple high fecal egg counts or weight loss ("happy factor").

Body condition and coat condition scores remained relatively unchanged. Stools continue to be soft. The average fecal consistency score was 1.76 + 0.45. The median score was 2.0. A score of 1 is indicative of pelleted feces, whereas a score of 4 indicates diarrhea (scours). None of the goats presented with diarrhea, as evidenced by no fecal consistency scores of 4 and no high dag scores.

For the final two weeks of the test, the goats will have access to approximately 10 acres of pasture. This includes cool season grass paddocks. warm season annual paddocks, and silvopasture. They are being fed one pound of soy hull pellets per head per day.

Lesser quality pasture

Next Friday, Jim Pritchard will scan the goats to determine their rib eye areas. The final bi-weekly data will be collected on October 1 and 2. The goats will be weighed on both days to ensure accurate final weights. Weights recorded on October 1 and 2 will be averaged to determine the final test weights. The fecal samples collected on October 1 will be factored into the test results and selection of the top-ten bucks.

The bucks may be picked up anytime after weighing on October 2.  Bucks may be purchased via private treaty directly from consignors. Plans are to sell some of this year's top-performing bucks (as yearlings) at next year's Bluegrass Performance Invitational. This year's sale was held September 4-5 in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Download September 17 (d-70) report