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2016 Performance & Carcass Contest
Recognizing producers whose goats excel in growth and carcass merit

A Performance & Carcass Contest was held in conjunction with the 2016 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test.  Anyone who consigned a buck to the test was eligible to enter a goat in the contest. Fifteen goats were entered by 15 consigners from 10 states:  Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. The goats were all Kiko. There were 14 bucks and 1 wether entered.


The fifteen goats were housed in a 16 x 16 foot pen, with minimal grazing opportunity. Shelter was provided via a three-sided shed. The pen offered environmental enrichment. After a 13-day adjustment period, the goats were fed for 87 days. They were fed a diet of hay and grain. They were not fed for maximum gain. A mostly grass hay was offered ad libitum. It was fed in two, 4-foot combination feeders (hay racks). Minerals were provided free choice.


Whole barley was fed once daily in poly troughs that were hung from the sides of the pen. Plenty of feeder space was provided. The goats consumed approximately 1 lb. of barley per head per day. Upon arrival, they were dewormed with levamisole (Prohibit®, 3 ml concentrated drench per 50 lbs.). They were FAMACHA© scored every two weeks and dewormed, as necessary.

Angie Loos's buck easily won the contest, excelling in all performance and carcass categories.

Growth Performance
Upon arrival on June 23-24, the goats ranged in weight from 28.6 to 60.8 lbs. and averaged 47.0 ± 9.9 lbs. The median weight was 46.8 lbs. The goats gained well during the 13-day adjustment period. Gain ranged from 2.0 to 12.7 lbs. and averaged 6.9 ± 2.8 lbs. Average daily gain (ADG) ranged from 0.143 to 0.907 lbs. per day and averaged 0.499 ± 0.206 lbs. per day. No goat lost weight during the adjustment period. Starting weights ranged from 34.0 to 71.0 lbs. and averaged 53.9 ± 10.6 lbs. The median starting weight was 53.5 lbs.


After the adjustment period, growth performance was variable and generally poor, though some goats did okay. Three bucks died during the contest and one was removed. If the data from these goats is excluded from the data set, ADG ranged from -0.144 to 0.402 lbs. per day and still averaged only 0.112 ± 0.162 lbs. per day. The median ADG was 0.115 per day. Three other goats lost weight during the feeding period. No explanation can be offered for their lack of performance. The wether goat, which always looked good, lost the most weight the last weigh period, as it had already reach its market potential a month earlier. It turned out to be the fattest goat in the contest.


Carcass Merit
Eleven (11) of the original goats were harvested to collect carcass data. On October 3, they were transported to Country Foods in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, for same day slaughter. They were weighed immediately prior to slaughter on certified scales. Hot carcass weights were determined immediately after slaughter. The carcasses were chilled overnight before being deboned and separated into lean, fat, and bone. 


Live (slaughter) weights (LW) ranged from 47.0 to 98.0 lbs. and averaged 65.5 ± 14.9 lbs. The heaviest goat was #7 (Loos). Hot carcass weights (HCW) ranged from 21.0 to 49.0 lbs. and averaged 30.5 ± 8.3 lbs. Dressing percent (DP) was determined by dividing hot carcass weight by live weight. DP ranged from 40.4 to 50.0 percent and averaged 46.3 ± 2.8 percent. The goat with the highest dressing percentage was #7 (Loos).  #'s 6 (Larr) and 12 (Torrens) dressed almost 49 percent.


Cold carcass weights (CCW) were determined the day after slaughter. They ranged from 19.0 to 47.0 lbs. and averaged 29.1 ± 8.2 lbs. The goat with the heaviest carcass was #7 (Loos). Cooler shrink is the amount of water lost from a carcass in the first 24 to 48 hours after harvest. It ranged from 2.0 to 4.5 percent and averaged 3.3 ± 0.8 percent. The carcass from #7 (Loos) had the least amount of shrinkage (loss).


Kidney and heart fat (KH) is an especially important measurement for goats, since it is the primary means by which goats deposit fat. It was not estimated. It was determined by removing the fat from the carcass and weighing it. Percent kidney and heart fat (%KH) was determined by dividing the weight of the kidney and heart fat by the cold carcass weight. Percent KH ranged from 0.86 to 5.42 percent and averaged 2.4 ± 1.4 percent. The goat with the most kidney and heart fat (KH) was #7 (1.76 lbs.), the biggest goat. However, the goat with the highest percentage of KH was the wether (#10).


Rib eye area (REA) was determined by measuring the area of the longisimus dorsi muscle using a plastic grid. REA ranged from 1.10 to 2.10 square inches and averaged 1.55 ± 0.29 inches. The median REA was 1.6 square inches. The goat with the biggest REA was #7 (Loos).  No goat had enough back fat or body wall thickness to measure. The wether goat had the most external fat.


Pounds and percentage of lean (meat), bone, and fat were determined for each goat. Percentages were determined by dividing amount

(pounds) into cold carcass weight. Percent lean varied from 47.0 to 59.6 percent and averaged 54.9 ± 4.6 percent. The goat with the highest percentage of lean was #7 (Loos). The Reserve Champion (4, Gamby) had a slighter lower percentage of lean (59.4).


Percent bone ranged from 30.0 to 47.5 percent and averaged 37.2 ± 5.5 percent. The goat with the lowest percentage of bone was #7 (Loos). The wether had the second lowest percentage of bone (33.2%). The goat with the highest percentage of bone was the goat that had the least amount of fat and had lost weight during the contest feeding period. Another goat with a high percentage of bone was another one that had lost weight during the feeding period.


Percent fat ranged from 1.2 to 8.1 percent and averaged 3.8 ± 2.1 percent. The fattest goat was the wether. The second fattest goat was the smallest goat slaughtered. It was also small-framed and had probably reached its market potenial earlier in the feeding period. Yield (percent boneless, fat-free meat) was determined by dividing the pounds of lean by live weight. Yield ranged from 19.2 to 28.6 percent and averaged 24.3 ± 3.4 percent. The top-yielding goat was #7 (Loos). The second highest yielding goat was the 5th place goat, #6 (Larr).


Lean gain (per day) was determined by multiplying ADG by yield. Lean gain ranged from 0.016 to 0.115 pounds per day and averaged 0.050 ± 0.032 lbs. per day.  Lean gain was not calculated for the goats that lost weight during the feeding period.


Lean gain (per day) was the statistic used to rank the goats in the contest. The Grand Champion was #7 entered by Angie Loos from Illinois. #7 won the competition easily, as it excelled in all performance and carcass categories. The Reserve Champion was #4 entered by Richard Gamby from Ohio. It had the second highest ADG, lean gain, and percentage of lean.


Third place went to #3 entered by William Winingear and Brittany White from Missouri. It had the second highest yield. John Smith from Virginia entered the fourth place goat. It was one of the leanest goats in the contest. It had the second largest rib eye. The fifth place goat was entered by Patricia Larr from Indiana. It had second highest yield (27.4%), but its ADG kept it from placing higher.

Download data from top-10 bucks.


This article was written October 2016 by Susan Schoenian.

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