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A pasture-based meat goat performance test in Western Maryland Susan Schoenian and Jeanne Dietz-Band Western Maryland Research & Education Center Maryland.

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Presentation on theme: "A pasture-based meat goat performance test in Western Maryland Susan Schoenian and Jeanne Dietz-Band Western Maryland Research & Education Center Maryland."— Presentation transcript:

1 A pasture-based meat goat performance test in Western Maryland Susan Schoenian and Jeanne Dietz-Band Western Maryland Research & Education Center Maryland Cooperative Extension

2 Assumptions Most meat goat kids are grown out on pasture. Grain feeding is generally not very economical for meat goats, and this will become increasingly so. Most producers select goats on the basis of how they look, not how they perform. Internal parasites (worms) are the primary health problem affecting meat goats and have a major impact on their on pasture.

3 Objectives Measure genetic differences in meat goats consuming a pasture diet with natural exposure to internal parasites (esp. Haemonchus contortis ). Evaluate meat goats for growth performance, parasite resistance, and carcass merit under pasture conditions.

4 Western Maryland Research & Education Center Keedysville, Maryland

5 Resources: 10 acres of pasture Composition 2 acres chicory 1 acre birdsfoot trefoil 7 acres fescue and orchardgrass In 2007 Replace paddock of infected tall fescue with Max Q fescue. Plant ~ 1 acre of pearl millet for summer grazing. Management 50 lbs. N/acre 3/17 and 5/25 No lime needed in 2006 Mow as needed

6 Resources: Fencing Perimeter –6-strand HT electric –All wires hot –Fence line is sprayed. Interior –3-4 strand electric Pearl millet –Premier Electronet Chicory BirdsfootOG F-OG PM

7 Central laneway: goat always have access Three 6 x 11 ft. port-a-hut shelters Water troughs Mineral feeders Handling system with work platform.

8 Test Protocol Up to 50 male goats accepted. Any breed or breed cross Born Dec 15 - March 15 Vaccinated twice for CD-T Hooves trimmed Health papers issued within 30 days of test No signs of foot rot, sore mouth, or abscesses. Scrapie ID

9 Upon Arrival Close inspection Weigh FAMACHA© score Body condition score Collect fecal sample Deworm with moxidectin Stand in foot bath for 10 minutes (zinc sulfate) Day 0-2, treat for coccidiosis in water

10 Management Managed as a single herd on pasture No supplemental feed Free choice minerals with Deccox® Rotationally graze among five 2- acre paddocks of cool season grasses. Access to central laneway containing shelter, water troughs, mineral feeders, and handling system. 14 wethers were added to the herd and removed in August. Checked at least daily.

11 Data collection Every 14 days –FAMACHA© score –Body condition score –Deworm 4s and 5s Dont deworm 1s and 2s 3s - depends –Treat for other problems, as necessary Collect fecal sample at day 0, 28, and 56. Weigh every 28 days Scan for carcass traits Measure scrotal circumference

12 2006 Test: June 10 - Oct 6 35 male goats –Boer (6) –Kiko (17) –Boer x Kiko (11) –Genemaster (1) Six consigners –Maryland (3) –West Virginia (1) –Pennsylvania (1) –Virginia (2) –Georgia (1) –Oklahoma (1) lbs. Avg. 49 lbs.

13 2006 test: June 10 - Oct 6 31 goats finished test 4 eliminated –2 soremouth –3 abscesses 1 untested, picked up by owner 1 tested positive for CL 1 tested negative for CL No death loss

14 Average daily gain, lbs. per day LowHighAvg Overall " 2.44" 1.10" 6.66 "

15 Date# dewormed June 100* June 232 July 70 July 211 August 420 August 1811 August 310 Sept 1511 Sept 295 * None of the goats required dewormed upon arrival, but all were dewormed with moxidectin for FEC protocol. Parasite resilience (tolerance) 5 inches

16 Parasite resilience (tolerance) # goats% of goats# treatments

17 Fecal Egg Count data* (parasite resistance) Sample date LowHighAverage Day 007, Day 2802, Day 5604, *raw data, unanalyzed

18 Summary of Data TraitLowHighAverage Starting weight, lbs Ending weight, lbs Average Daily Gain, lbs. per day Number of times dewormed, # Fecal egg counts, eggs per gram07, Rib eye area, square inches Backfat, inches Scrotal circumference, cm

19

20 Meat Goat Test BLOG

21 Questions, comments

22 Small Ruminant Web-Based Information Sources 1)Maryland Small Ruminant Page 2)Maryland Sheep and Goat (Quarterly) Newsletter 3)Hair Sheep Virginia State University 4)Shepherds Notebook Blog 5)Meat Goat Performance Test Blog 6)Sheep )Sheep 201: A Beginners Guide to Raising Sheep 8)National Resource on Sheep & Goat Marketing


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