~The Following article was featured in the November 2011 Goat Rancher magazine~
Variety of breeds perform well in Maryland buck test
By Susan Schoenian
A fullblood Boer buck consigned by Sherrie Losch of Pennsylvania was the high-selling buck at the 2011Western Maryland Goat Field Day & Sale held on Sept. 24 near Boonsboro, Md. Eleven bucks that met the Gold, Silver or Bronze standards of performance were offered for sale via silent auction. The Losch buck met the Gold standards of performance for parasite resistance and parasite resilience. It sold for $875. The buyer was Lynda Heise from St. Thomas, Pa. The next high-selling buck was a purebred Kiko consigned by P.J. Murphy of New Jersey. It sold for $725. It was also purchased by Lynda Heise. Murphy is a first-year consignor and previous buyer of top-performing bucks. Merritt “Sam” Burke of Delaware was the top consignor in this year’s test. He sold all four of his bucks that qualified for the sale. His top-selling buck brought $450. It sold to Mike & Rachel Moran from Alderson ,W.V. Burke was also recognized for being a five-year consignor to the test. The top-gaining buck was a Savanna x Spanish buck consigned by Janet and Stephen Garrett of Virginia. The buck gained 0.235 lbs. per day. His ADG ratio was 181%, meaning he gained 81% better than the average buck in the test. The buck sold for $350. The buyer was Zach Teter from Beverly, W.V. The Garretts are first-year consignors. The top-performing buck in this year’s test was a Kiko x Boer buck consigned by Luke Miller from Indiana. This was the only buck that met the Gold standards of performance. Miller also had a buck that met the Silver standards of performance. Both of Miller’s top-performing bucks are going back to the farm for breeding. Miller is a first-year consignor to the test and a previous buyer of top-performing bucks. In addition to the bucks sold in the sale, Lincoln University in Missouri purchased four bucks from the test via private treaty. For their upcoming research project they required two “resistant” bucks and two “susceptible” registerable Kiko bucks. The four Kiko bucks selected will be used in a divergent selection experiment on parasite resistance. It will be interesting to follow the progress of this research. Of particular interest will be the fecal egg counts of the offspring sired by the two resistant and two susceptible bucks from the test. Lincoln purchased the most resistant buck in the test, a purebred Kiko consigned by Craig Adams of Illinois. The Adams buck never had a fecal egg count above 500 epg. His fecal egg count averaged 131 epg. The Adams buck also was one of the most resilient bucks in this year’s test. All of his FAMACHA scores were 1. Jeanne Dietz-Band of Maryland also had a buck whose FAMACHAscores were all 1. Seven does were offered for sale via private treaty. The high selling doe was a Kiko yearling consigned by P.J.Murphy. It sold for $550. Mark Sweitzer’s four Kiko doe kids brought an average of $225 each. Eighty bucks were delivered to the test site on Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4. On these days, weights ranged from 29 to 69 lbs. and averaged 41.0 lbs. After a 6-day adjustment period, the goats were re-weighed. The weights recorded on June 10 were the starting weights for the test. Starting weights ranged from 28 to 70 lbs. and averaged 42.5 lbs. Final weights were recorded on September 15. Final weights ranged from 37 to 71 lbs. and averaged 54.9 lbs. While on test, weight gain ranged from -9 to +23 lbs. and averaged 12.4 lbs.Average daily gain (ADG) is determined by dividing the weight gain by the number of days of the test (98). Weight gains, while not robust, were steady. During the test period, the goats experienced a variety of weather and forage conditions. The test site was dry during the middle part of the test, but very wet during the last six weeks of the test period. Individual fecal samples were collected every two weeks. The samples were collected directly from the rectum of the goat, unless the goat provided a sample while he was waiting to be worked. Fecal egg counts were determined by Dr. Dahlia J. O’Brien’s lab at Delaware State University. Fecal egg counts are an estimate of the number of adult worms present in the goat’s gut. They are a measure of parasite resistance. The purpose of this test is to determine which bucks are more resistant to parasites. It goes without saying that bucks that shed a lotof parasite eggs should not be kept for breeding. Parasite resistance is a moderately heritable trait, more so than reproductive traits. During the early and mid-part of the test, fecal egg counts were not very high. While some goats had high egg counts, the majority of egg counts were below 2,000 epg and often 1,000 epg. Though clinical parasitism could occur at lower levels, 2,000 epg is often considered the level of clinical significance for the barberpole worm. Fecal coprocultures showed worm eggs to be almost all barberpole worm (Haemonchus contortus). During the last six weeks of the test, egg counts rose significantly, as a result of the increased rainfall. In fact, egg counts from the September 15 collection were so high that they eliminated five bucks from the sale. Before September 15, these bucks were meeting the standards for parasite resistance. Please direct questions about the data and test to Susan Schoenian at
or 301 432-2767 x343.
Lynda Heise from St. Thomas, PA on left. Sherrie Losch on right.
High selling buck was Losch's R.V.F. Kicks Undercover Darkness. He was sired by AABG BDV Kicks on Fire. His solid black Dam was Losch's R.V.F. Top Spots Sasha.