Standardized performance testing program available to Canadian producers
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Meat Goat Association is pleased to announce that the CMGA is providing the opportunity for all Canadian goat producers to participate in the Kentucky State University Goat Herd Improvement Program (GHIP). This program allows producers to have production records standardized and assists them in using performance data to select higher quality animals for replacements. This can result in herd improvement and increased performance without increasing production costs for producers.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Any breeder, regardless of breeds kept or herd size. The program is open to any purebred, crossbred or commercial animals. You must have access to a computer with a spreadsheet program and email because all data must be submitted electronically on the spreadsheets provided.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Nothing. At this point, Dr. Andries is providing this program completely without cost. The CMGA is coordinating and organizing Canadian participants (including the translation of all documents), as a service to the Canadian meat goat industry.
CAN I COMPARE MY RESULTS TO OTHER HERDS?
Not at this point. The ratios and performance data cannot be used to compare animals from different herds – they are most effectively used when selecting within a herd and group of animals. However, once a sufficient amount of data has been collected and his research has progressed, Dr. Andries plans to be able to pull animals into contemporary groups that adjust for season of kidding, environments, management, etc.
HOW DO I ENROLL?
Dr. Andries has asked that the CMGA office be the contact point for Canadian producers who wish to enroll in the program. Once producers are enrolled, they will send their raw data directly to Dr. Andries. Only the individual breeder and Dr. Andries will know the efficiency rankings of each herd. The CMGA office will be receiving general summary information from GHIP annually, but the data will not be in a format that reveals the identity of individual herds. Eventually we hope to be able to include this data in a comprehensive genetic evaluation program.
The CMGA will recognize and promote participating breeders in the Meat Goat Journal and on the website. Breeders who do not wish their names to be listed should contact the CMGA office.
I KIDDED IN JANUARY THIS YEAR – IS IT TOO LATE TO PARTICIPATE?
No – even if you kidded earlier in the year and your kids have been weaned for some time, it is not too late to participate for this year. As long as you have the date of birth of your kids, their weaning date and weights, and sire and dam information, you can still take part.
Increase your bottom line – stop wasting your money feeding those non-performers and select replacements only from superior producers. Standardized performance testing and on-farm testing programs have been highly successful in increasing performance of economically important traits in cattle and sheep. Performance data can be adjusted for known environmental effects, resulting in a more accurate measurement of performance traits, which makes the use of standardized performance data more valuable than individual weights when selecting for improvement.
The CMGA has a mission to support the development of a profitable meat goat industry in Canada and performance testing is a fantastic way for producers to increase their profitability. In addition, two of the purposes of the Association are to improve both Canadian Boer goat genetics as well as Canadian meat goats in general. A standardized performance testing program is key for this genetic improvement.