Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Changes for 2016

For 2016, a few changes will be made to the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.

Any goat with a FAMACHA© score of 3 that loses weight (> 0.1 lb.) during the previous two week period will be dewormed. If the goat didn't lose weight, it may still be dewormed based on the Five Point Check© and other factors. In many countries, performance (a.k.a. the "Happy Factor") is used as the main criteria for making deworming decisions.

FAMACHA© score 3
Lose weight = get dewormed

All of the goats will be weighed before FAMACHA©, body condition, coat condition, dag, and fecal consistency scores are determined. Eighty goats can be weighed rather quickly, whereas it takes several hours to score eighty goats. There is concern that some goats may be losing too much weight (feces + urine) while they are waiting to be worked.

The goats will be supplemented daily with whole barley instead of soyhull pellets. Barley is more economical and the research farm is willing to provide it for the test. There will also be less waste, as the soyhulls were quite powdery and often not totally consumed by the goats. Barley will be introduced slowly and gradually increased, based on appetite. Supplementation will not exceed 1 pound per head per day or approximately 2% of body weight (1 ÷ 50).

Goats will not leave the test site until all data has been received and evaluated.

Please contact Susan at sschoen@umd.edu or (301) 432-2767 x343, if you have suggestions for the test.