Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Performance & Carcass Contest

The 2016 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test will feature a Goat Performance & Carcass Contest. The purpose of the contest is to collect performance and carcass data from meat goats fed a moderate energy diet and to recognize producers whose goats excel in performance and carcass merit.

The contest is open to all consignors. Consignors must have a least one goat in the test in order to enter a goat in the contest. Contest goats must have a litter mate or half-sib in the test. There is no cost to enter the contest. The test will cover the cost of feed, health care, slaughter, and data collection. Consignors who consign five goats to the test and have a goat in the carcass contest will receive a discount of $20 per test goat. A minimum of 10 goats and a maximum of 15 is needed to hold the contest.

The criteria for contest goats is the same as test goats: male (buck or wether); any breed or breed cross; born between January 1 and March 15, 2016; weigh between 40 and 70 lbs. upon delivery to test site on June 24; vaccinated for CDT twice, and weaned for at least 2 weeks. Inter- or Intrastate Health papers and official USDA scrapie ID are required for all goats.

The goats will be housed in a 16 ft. x 16 ft. zero grazing pen, with ample room for exercise, social interaction, and expression of natural behavior. They will be fed a hay and grain diet: approximately 2 lbs. per head per day of a mixed alfalfa-grass hay and 1 lb. per head per day day of whole barley.

The goats will be weighed upon arrival and every 4 weeks. They will be harvested to collect carcass data. Carcasses will be de-boned to determine the yield of boneless, fat-free meat. In addition to recognizing the goat with the best carcass, calculations will be made to determine the goat(s) with the best lean growth (per day of test and per day of age), value, and return ($).

Performance & Carcass Contest Procedures