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Small Ruminant
News Release

Kiko buck tops 2008 goat test

Best individual buck
John Smith (R) had the top-performing goat in the 2008 test
 

A buckskin Kiko buck consigned by John Smith from Petersburg, Virginia, was the top performing buck in the 2008 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. Kendall "James" and Dana Barnes from Kentucky had the top consignment of bucks. All four of their bucks were in the top 20. The International Kiko Goat Association presented an award to Merritt Burke from Delaware for having a buck in the top 3 of the test.

Similar to the Forage-based buck test at Oklahoma State University, gold, silver, and bronze standards of performance were established for the bucks on test. To be considered a gold level goat, bucks must not have been dewormed or had a FAMACHA© score higher than 2. Their high and average fecal egg counts must not have been over 1,000 epg. They must have gained at least 0.20 lbs. per day while on test from June 20 until September 29.

To be considered a silver level goat, a buck may have been dewormed one time, but his FAMACHA© score must not have exceeded 3. High and average egg counts must not have exceeded 1,500 epg. Bucks must have gained at least 0.15 lbs. per day. To meet the bronze standard for performance, a buck may have been dewormed twice, but his FAMACHA© score must not have exceeded 3. High and average fecal egg counts must not have exceeded 2,000 eggs per gram. Bucks must have gained at least 0.13 lbs. per day (the test average).

Four bucks met the GOLD standard for performance: a Kiko buck consigned by John Smith (VA), a 75% Kiko buck consigned by Merritt Burke (DE), a Kiko buck consigned by Kendell Barnes (KY), and a 92% Kiko buck consigned by Don Smith (VA). Four bucks met the SILVER standard for performance: a 75% Kiko buck onsigned by Don Smith, a Kiko buck consigned by Jeanne Dietz-Band (MD), a Kiko cross buck consigned by Robie Robinson (VA), and a Kiko buck consigned by Kendell Barnes. Two bucks met the BRONZE standard for performance: a Kiko cross buck consigned by Robie Robinson and a Kiko buck consigned by Warren Barnes (MO).

Top 10 bucks in 2008 test
Consigner
State
ID
Breed
Start Wt, lbs.
End Wt
ADG
High FEC
Avg
FEC
High
FAM
Avg
FAM
# Tx
Performance
standard
John Smith
VA
191
Kiko
44
68
0.24
967
401
2
1.86
0
Gold
Merritt Burke
DE
339
75% Kiko
41
63
0.22
600
236
2
1.38
0
Gold
Kendell Barnes
KY
X22
Kiko
43
64
0.21
600
376
2
1.25
0
Gold
Don Smith
VA
0824
92% Kiko
46
66
0.20
200
49
2
1.25
0
Gold
Don Smith
VA
0811
75% Kiko
42
59
0.17
1,375
424
3
1.63
0
Silver
Jeanne Dietz-Band
MD
1474
Kiko
50
67
0.17
1,200
266
2
1.50
0
Silver
Kendell Barnes
KY
X23
Kiko
45
60
0.15
1,320
639
2
1.75
0
Silver
Robie Robinson
VA
1084
Kiko
46
61
0.15
1,450
365
2
1.63
0
Silver
Robie Robinson
VA
1120
Kiko
46
59
0.13
542
142
2
1.50
0
Bronze
Warren Barnes
MO
1540
Kiko
54
67
0.13
1,550
400
2
1.63
0
Bronze
Avg. in test (n=57)
49
62
0.13
4,830
1,312
3
2.02
1

Eighty-two (82) goats were nominated for the 2008 test. Nominations were received from 21 breeders from 11 states: Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Sixty-two (62) goats were accepted for testing. Fifty-seven (57) finished the test. Three died and 2 goats were eliminated because they failed to adapt to the pasture diet.

For the 100-day duration of the test, average daily gain ranged from -0.09 to 0.240 lbs. per day and averaged 0.124 for the 57 goats that finished the test. The average goat gained 13 lbs. while on test, while the best performing goats gained 24 lbs. while on test. ADG was below last year's performance of 0.253 lbs. per day. The poorer performance was attributed to increased parasite problems and rutting behavior. An mid-summer outbreak of soremouth also likely impacted gains.

Last year, few goats required deworming and individual FAMACHA© scores never exceeded 3. This year, several goats required multiple anthelmintic treatments. Each goat was dewormed an average of one time, not including the initial double-deworming. Larvae cultures showed the parasite infection to be almost all Haemonchus contortus.

Results of Larval Development Assay (LDA)
Collection date
FEC
% Haem
% Tri
% Oes
% Nem
June 7
2,300
67
32
1
0
June 20
100
91
9
0
0
July 3
300
73
9
0
18
July 18
1,200
99
0
1
0
August 1
50
98
1
0
1
August 15
1,726
100
0
0
0
August 29
4,784
96
4
0
0
September 12
799
98
2
0
0
Haem = Haemonchus contortus; Tri = Trichostrongyles; Oes = Oesophagostomum; and Nem = Nematodirus

Sale and Field Day

The 1st Western Maryland Performance-Tested Buck and Invitational Doe Sale and Field Day was held on October 4, 2008. Five of the top-performing bucks were sold. Several bucks failed to receive the minimum bid. 19 does were sold. Several does failed to receive the minimum bid. Most of the does were half-sibs to the bucks on test. It may take several years to build demand for performance tested meat goats, especially pasture-reared ones.

A field day was held in conjunction with the sale. Dr. Dan Waldron from Texas A&M University was the featured speaker. Dr. Waldron discussed different aspects of performance testing goats.


Performance Testing Program

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test was initiated in 2006 at the University of Maryland’s Western Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville, MD. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the performance of meat goats consuming a pasture-only diet, with natural exposure to internal parasites, primarily Haemonchus contortus (the barber pole worm).

Top consignment of bucks
Kendell (L) and Dana (R) Barnes had the top consignment in the 2008 test
 

Upon arrival to the test site, the goats stand in a foot bath containing zinc sulfate. Weights, FAMACHA© and body condition scores are determined. A fecal sample is collected. Each goat is dewormed with moxidectin and levamisole. A coccidiostat is put in the water for the first three days of the test.

The goats are managed as a single group on pasture from early June until early October. They are rotationally grazed among five 2-acre paddocks composed of orchardgrass, MaxQ™ tall fescue, chicory, and pearl millet. They always have access to a central laneway containing port-a-hut shelters, a shade structure, water, minerals, and a handling system. The perimeter fencing is 6-strand, high-tensile, electric. The goats are checked one to two times per day.

The goats are handled every two weeks to determine body weights, FAMACHA© scores, and body condition scores. Low-stress livestock handling techniques are used. Goats with FAMACHA© scores of 4 or 5 are dewormed with either moxidectin or levamisole. Goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3 are sometimes dewormed, depending upon other factors.

Fecal samples are collected every 2 weeks to determine individual fecal egg counts. Fecal egg counts are determined by Dr. Dahlia Jackson's lab at Delaware State University. Pooled fecal samples are analyzed to determine parasite types. Larval development assays are done by Dr. Ray Kaplan's lab at the University of Georgia.

Near the end of the test, the goats are scanned to determine 12th rib backfat thickness and rib eye area. Jim Pritchard from West Virginia University does the ultrasound scanning. Scrotal measurements are taken and the goats are evaluated for structural correctness and reproductive soundness.

The goat test committee includes Susan Schoenian1, Jeff Semler1, Willie Lantz1, David Gordon1, Jeanne Dietz-Band1, Mary Beth Bennett2, and Dr. Dahlia Jackson3. Dr. Kevin Pelzer4 serves as the consulting veterinarian.


2009 testing program

The 2009 test will be conducted in a similar manner as the 2008 test. The tentative dates are June 6-October 3, 2009. A field day and performance-tested buck and invitational doe sale will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro, MD.

Eligible goats may be of any breed or breed cross. Registration papers are not required. For the 2009 test, goats must be born between December 15, 2008, and March 20, 2009. They must weigh between 35 and 70 lbs. at the start of the test. They are required to be vaccinated twice for overeating disease and tetanus. The nomination period is April 1 - May 15. There is a non-refundable nomination fee, as well as a testing fee. The total cost for testing a goat will be $85.

Breeders may consign up to 5 goats to the test. Preference will be given to previous consigners and Maryland residents. A slaughter component will be added in 2009. Consigners may nominate 2 goats for this portion of the test. Carcasses will be deboned to determine lean meat yield.

1University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
2West Virginia University Cooperative Extension
3Delaware State University
4VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

For information about the test, visit the blog at http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com.


Created 26-Nov-2008 by Susan Schoenian.

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