IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMANCE TESTING
Meat goat producers should be interested in herd performance evaluation and genetic improvement. Recently, there has been increased awareness of the importance of performance testing in meat goat programs. We completed a USDA project that increased the implementation of such programs in individual herds and among breeder groups. However, too many goat managers are still reluctant to adequately document performance for economically important production traits in meat goat herds.
Feb. 2012: We partnered with the Federal Goat and Sheep Research Center in Brazil (EMBRAPA) to offer a new program to encourage seed stock managers and others to get on board with on-farm testing. This goes beyond our earlier focus on tttttttttracking within-herd performance and ratios. The database (GENECOC) is managed by its developer (Dr. R. N. Braga Lôbo) and generates across-herd EPD values for genetic evaluation. Data for the TSU herd are being entered into the GENECOC with plans of opening system availability to private herds/producer groups after TSU data entry is complete.
Producers currently recording and processing data for ratio values are encouraged to continue, whether in-house or with the assistance of a central data processing location (such as what we were doing on the old project). We will continue to provide assistance whenever requested.
Check back often for updates on our next phase of on-farm performance testing, the GENECOC EPD program.
TSU ON-FARM DOE HERD PERFORMANCE TEST RESOURCES
Note: Download/save the Excel file to a disk or hard drive before entering data.
There are three tabbed worksheets in the file: 1. breeding, 2. kidding, and 3. weaning.
If you are in the business of raising and selling meat goats, seedstock or commercial, the recording of animal weights should be a common part of your management program. This is important for genetic improvement, readiness of market kids, and the general assessment of management protocols and annual doe herd performance.
Australia Fact Sheet: Use of Scales in Meat Goat Herds
OFF-BUCK PERFORMANCE TEST SITES
A cautionary note about central station buck performance testing relative to doe herd performance.
Similar relationships have been documented for beef cattle performance. Buck testing alone is insufficient to improve overall herd performance. On-farm doe herd performance testing is essential.