Monday, July 5, 2010

Meat Goat Performance Testing

I recently delivered 3 goats to the Western Maryland Pasture-based Meat Goat Performance Test in Keedysville, Maryland.

Susan Schoenian, the University of Maryland's resident sheep and goat guru and a host of other researchers, breeders, volunteers, and students have created a wonderful test with the help of a SARE grant.

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is sponsored by University of Maryland Extension and is conducted at the Western Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville, MD.

The purpose of the test is to measure performance of various goats on a pasture-only diet, something that is near and dear to our hearts here at Whitmore Farm.

As you may already know, all of our animals are raised on pasture for environmental, humanitarian, and pro human-health reasons. In addition, we are very interested in reintroducing better performance into our heritage-American breed of goat, the myotonic or Tennessee fainting goat.

For too long, the myotonic goat has been bred primarily as a pet animal, and we hope to restore and improve on its qualities as a 'meat' goat.

So you can see how this performance test would provide an excellent forum for us to test our animals and see how we're doing on our breeding program.

For those of you interested in following the performance test, please feel free to check in with Susan Schoenian's blog and follow the progress of our little goatlings as they compete with goats from all around the country...go TEAM WHITMORE!

We are listed on the spreadsheets under OZKUM and I have 3 goats entered.

At the end of the test, the best animals are put up for auction as stud animals and go on to happily create many more goatlings! lol

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