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Alchemy Acres
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Tip of the Month





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At this time of year, we are all well into the "Show Season". So the topic for this month is going to be a discussion of what constitutes a show quality animal and what constitutes a cull. This is, of course, a subjective decision for each keeper, but there are a few guidelines.

As I said, these decisions are highly subjective. It is possible for an animal who is a "cull" in one herd to be a star in another. For example, we at Alchemy maintain a very small herd ( I'm not getting any younger). If we are to keep a youngster, we must sell an older animal. The older animal is not a reject, per se. She is just being replaced by a younger animal with particularly desirable genetics. And of couse, we must all periodically change herd sires so as to not inbreed too closely. These animals can thrive and produce in another herd. Herds that maintain careful breeding programs are always improving upon the overall herd. Hopefully, we are all striving to produce better and better animals. Thats what a good breeding program will do for us all.

A whole other case is a "problem" animal - the animal with serious faults or chronic illness. This is the true cull. I believe that these animals are not to be sold to any other herd under any conditions. Animals such as these should, in my opinion, be sold as meat. And if the animal posseses an illness that is serious and/or communicable, then it should not even be sold as meat. If you wouldn't want to eat the carcass yourself, you should not sell it as meat. Its not easy to take a loss like that, but ethics are ethics.

I hope these guidelines are useful to you. Mostly, I'd like to see us all implement good herd management and breeding programs. That will eliminate the necessity to institute draconian culling programs. Our goats become members of our families, and to sell one can be traumatic. It is far better that we be able to take pride in ALL our animals and if we find it necessary to sell one, to be able to sell her as a productive animal who will enhance another herd.


Write us with your comments and suggestions.


Welcome PageDescription of Dairy HerdWhat's New at the Site?Crafts and Nifty StuffAlchemy's MenagerieTip of the MonthPrevious Tips of the MonthOther Resources of Interest