Tip of the Month
This month, I'm going to discuss the so-called scorecard by which dairy goats are evaluated and/or judged. I have taken much of these data from The Illustrated Standard of the Dairy Goat by Nancy Lee Owen. I must admit that my edition is dated (copyright 1977), but the principles, if not the point system, remain quite current. In particular, I'm going to cover the scorecard for does. You can use these guidelines in order to select a superior animal for your herd or pack string. The scorecard for bucks is similar, except that his mammary is not as evident (he should have only two teats - very important). There are four major areas of concern:
- Breed Characteristics
- Head - should have a broad muzzle with large open nostrils. Eyes should be full and bright. Forehead should be broad between the eyes.
- Front End - should have smoothly blending shoulder blades which are set smoothly against the chest wall and withers, forming a neat junction with the body. Chest width should be great.
- Front Legs - should be wide apart, squarely set, clean-cut and strong with forelegs straight.
- Hind legs - should be nearly perpendicular from hock to pastern. When viewed from behind, legs should be wide apart and nearly straight. Pasterns should be of medium length and strong and springy.
- Back - should be strong and appearing straight with well-defined vertebrae.
- Rump - should be long, wide, and nearly level. The tail head should be slightly above and neatly set between the pinbones. The tail should be set symetrically with the body.
- Feet - should be short and straight with a deep heel and level sole.
- Overall general appearance means that the animal looks good overall. She is bright and alert and moves gracefully. The aforementioned parts may define the whole, but that whole just looks good altogether.
- Neck - should be long and lean, blending smoothly into the shoulders and brisket with a clean-cut throat.
- Withers - should be well-defined and wedge-shaped with the dorsal process of the vertebrae rising slightly above the shoulder blades.
- Ribs - should be wide apart. The rib bone should be wide, flat, and long.
- Flank - should be deep, arched, and refined.
- Thighs - should be incurving to flat from the side. When viewed from the rear, the thighs should be well apart, providing ample room for the udder and its attachments.
- Skin - should be fine textured, loose, and pliable. The hair should be fine.
- Overall dairyness refers to animation, angularity, general openness, and freedom from excess lard.
- Barrel -should be deep, strongly supported, with ribs wide apart and well-sprung. The depth and width of the barrel should tend to increase toward the rear of the barrel.
- Heart Girth - should be large with a wide chest floor between the front legs.
- Basically, body capacity refer to a large animal with ample digestive capacity, strength, and vigor.
- Fore Udder - should be carried well forward. The udder should be tightly attached and be devoid of a pocket, blending smoothly into the body.
- Rear Udder - should be high and wide. The udder halves should be symmetrical.
- Medial Suspensory Ligament - should be tight, dividing the udder into two halves.
- Capacity - should be large with lots of milk.
- Quality - should be nice and soft - not hard as a rock.
- Teats - should be uniform , of convenient length and size, more or less cylindrical in shape, with easy to milk orifices.
- Overall you want an udder that is capacious, strongly attached, with good quality indicating heavy production.
If some of these characteristics are difficult to visualize, go to a goat show, look at some of the better animals, and if possible, talk to the owners and have them point out some of the better characteristics. of their animals.
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