Animal Physiology Lab
Genetic Decision-Making for Enhanced Herd Outcomes
The Animal Physiology Laboratory, part of the TSU Institute of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Research, has been involved in ruminant animal research since 1995. Up to 2002, research concentrated on tall fescue endophyte toxicosis in beef cattle with a particular interest in the use of heat-tolerant breed genetics. A transition began in 2001 that lead to the emergence of meat goat production as the research focus.
The meat goat research focus has been on genetic evaluation for fitness and performance in the southeastern US as the general theme of this TSU small ruminant effort. The research herd is comprised of approximately 250 breeding does and herd sires on 80+ acres of pastureland along the Cumberland River representing diverse sets of Boer, Kiko, Spanish, Myotonic, and Savanna genetics; all part of the meat goat genetic evaluation and outreach program.
In the summer of 2015, the lab returned to cattle production. A herd of Dexter cattle has been started to complement the meat goat herd. The Dexter cattle will be used to assess the potential of small-breed cattle for small-scale beef production. In the coming weeks, information on the Dexter herd will be provided on a new Dexter cattle page that is be developed.
Contact me for more information.
WHICH BUCK IS BEST ??
Looks alone may not answer the question. The availablility and use of solid performance data will go a long way in making good sire selection decisions when trying to enhance herd performance traits such as kid growth or doe fitness. This is true whether choosing among a pen of young sire prospects or perhaps purchasing semen from a selection of bucks in an artificial insemination catalog.
RESEARCH-BASED MEAT GOAT EXTENSION PUBLICATIONS
To view a valuable series of research-based meat goat extension publications, visit the web page of my partner:
Maria L. Leite-Browning at Alabama A&M University
A permanent partner in the research activities of this lab, Dr. Maria is the former (initial) State Extension Specialist for goats at TSU and now serves in the same capacity as Extension Animal Scientist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Training sessions and seminars featuring the latest in TSU meat goat genetics research are often in joint programs with Alabama A&M and Alabama Cooperative Extension under the direction of Dr. Maria. As a veterinarian with extensive expertise in small ruminant health and disease management on two continents, she is an invaluable contributor to the research and outreach effort.