Performance Tests Show No Partiality


It is time to make plans for entering your goats in one of the meat goat performance tests being held again this year.

I have just received the announcement from Angelo State University here in San Angelo, TX that the deadline for entering animals in this year's test is May 23, 2001. Goats should be delivered to the test site between 8:00 am June 1, 2001 and 3:00 pm June 2, 2001. All test goats will be fed for a 10 day warm up period followed by an 84 day test period ending on September 3, 2001. Buck kids born between January 1, 2001 and March 31, 2001 are eligible. The cost this year is $100.00 per head. For more information contact Dr. Brian May or Dr. Gil Engdahl at 915-942-2027 or Dr. Dan Waldron or Dr. Frank Craddock at 915-653-4576.

Langston University in Langston, OK is also conducting their meat goat performance test again this year. It will have started by the time you read this column since it begins on May 5, 2001 and runs through August 18, 2001. Contacts for that test are Mr. Jim Daniel 405-382-1901 or Dr. Terry Gipson 405-466-3836.

Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA will also conduct 2 tests this year. The first began April 25, 2001 and ends July 24, 2001 for bucks born between December 1, 2000 and February 29, 2001. The second test begins August 3, 2001 and ends October 30, 2001 for bucks born between March 1, 2001 and May 31, 2001. The cost for that test is $100.00 with any funds left over at the end refunded to participants or any shortage billed to participants. Nominations for the second test should be sent by July 1, 2001. For additional information or nomination forms contact Dr. Will Getz at 478-825-6955.

These tests are the only way for the producer to gauge the excellence of their genetics in an objective format. The scales and other measuring equipment used at these tests don't care who the owner or breeder of the goat is. There are no politics and no subjectivity. At the end the breeder knows how quickly his/her animals are gaining weight relative to other animals under similar conditions, and also has data on loin eye area, scrotal circumference, and at some tests, feed efficiency and parasite loads.

If you are going to market your genetics to commercial meat goat producers this type of data is far more valuable than a listing of all the show wins your herd has accrued. Nobody ever got more money from a slaughter house, order buyer, etc. because their animals were sired by the XYZ Boer Goat Association 2000 National Show Grand Champion buck, but they sure have because their animals gained .75 lbs per day instead of .50 lbs per day resulting in kids that were 22.5 lbs larger when they sold them at weaning age.

If you are going to participate in one or more of these tests you should consider taking more than 1 or 2 animals from each of your sires. I generally take all of my eligible animals, but at a minimum I recommend taking 5 kids from each of your sires. The more animals you take, the more statistically valid and valuable the data you get back will be.

Next month I will discuss how to interpret performance test data, but in the meantime get your buck kids to a performance test near you.

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This page updated 07/27/01