I've been meaning to get a post going about the 2011 Oklahoma Buck Test, but I just haven't been able to sit down long enough to do it. It's just as well though. We received an email yesterday saying that some of the calculations were off on the final data that we were given back in Sept. They have reworked the data and have put it up on The Kerr Center's website. You can check it out here.
I think it turned out to be a very informative day. They had quite a few speakers, lunch, and we were able to catch up with some of our old friends while getting the chance to meet new ones.
|Future farm/ranch managers|
Shane and I decided to let our two kids sit in on the seminars to take notes for us. Can't you tell they are absorbing all the information that Dr. Ann Wells is speaking about in her session. In case you can't tell which are our children, look at the bottom of the picture. The one with a big "cowboy" hat and the lefty belong to us ;)
There was also a session for the attendees the get to do some hands-on FAMACHA training (eye scoring the goats). I'm so glad that we learned to do FAMACHA a few years ago. We try to check our goats every month for with this method. When we first started doing the checks there were always certain does that had lighter color membranes under their eyelids. This was due to being anemic from wormloads. At the end of that year, we looked back at the records and it was always those certain ones that had to be treated with dewormer due to the anemia. We culled every single one of those does for that reason alone: and boy did we see an improvement when it came to FAMACHA checks. We rarely, if ever, had to deworm any of our goats........that is until Shane brought in some Boer and Boer influenced commercial does. I still don't even want to talk about that whole ordeal. Maybe in a few years................
|Dr. Dave Sparks explaining how to use the FAMACHA system to those attending. He's the guy with the orange hat.|
Below you will see a participant holding the card near the goat's eye with the eyelid pulled down to expose the membranes. On the card there are 5 different colors to use as a guide to grade the goats anemia. A #1 on the card is blood red, which is totally healthy and on the other end of the color chart is a #5 which is white and would indicate the goat is severely anemic and is pretty much knocking on death's door. By doing these checks monthly you will be able to see which animals are resistant to parasites (worms). You can even take it a step further and do fecal egg counts (FEC). A FEC is truly the best tool to check for accuracy when it comes to finding out if a goat is wormy or not. Anemia can also be caused by lice, coccidiosis, or other issues; but it is most often caused by the barberpole worm. With a FEC you will be able to determine exactly how many parasite eggs they have per gram of feces. I could keep rambling on and on about FAMACHA and FEC's but I don't want to bore you to death. Here is a link to a power-point presentation that I found on the web that pertains to using the FAMACHA system. It shows pictures of sheep, but it is the same for controlling worms ( barberpole worm ) in small ruminants.
|Eye-scoring a goat|
After seminars, we had a lunch of pulled BBQ goat meat, and then headed out to pick up the bucks. Below you will see photos of the bucks from this year's test.
All of the producers and other attendees gathered round to take a look at the test bucks. As you can see in the picture below, I had someone try to speed through while I was taking this pic. Boy, did she have plenty of energy that day! I guess it was due to taking all of those notes for her parents and sitting through the seminars. Poor kid! ;)
My little cowboy decided he wanted a better view than anyone. I think he also wanted to be a big fella and jump right in and help the men sort the bucks. They had it under control, so he just sat there and watched. My babies are growing up too fast! *Sigh.........
We had a great time taking this trip to Oklahoma. We decided the whole family would make the haul and I'm glad we did. It's always so nice to get together with goat people. They really are some of the nicest people. By the way, if you aren't a goat person, can I just ask that you please not look at anyone cross-eyed when you find out they raise goats? Not all goat producers are weird. Seriously.....well there may be some, but you didn't hear that from me!