MEAT GOAT HERD MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP PLANNED
AUBURN, Ala. -- Animal scientists with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and researchers with Auburn University's Department of Animal Sciences are launching a pilot project to provide a hands-on training for producers to utilize a record-keeping system to gather performance data in meat goatherds in Alabama.
The data collected through this project should help to initiate development of a performance recording and genetic evaluation programs for meat goats. Twenty meat goat producers will be selected to participate in the pilot project.
Project leader Dr. Nada Nadarajah says the program could have far-reaching effects.
"Most livestock species have successfully adopted suitable performance recording and genetic evaluation programs," says Nadarajah. "But so far nothing has been done for meat goats."
He notes that to increase production efficiency, it is essential that farm records be used routinely for daily management. Farmers can achieve substantial improvements in meat goat production through adoption of a well-organized, simple, accurate, understandable and easy-to-keep recording system.
The primary purpose of measuring and recording animal performance is to aid the producer in determining which animals are genetically superior. Documenting the actual performance of an animal's production, nutrition, reproduction and health status in meat goat operations provides producers with a good understanding of how to improve their operations in the future.
Nadarajah says the project will use custom software called the Meat Goat Performance Recording and Herd Management. This record-keeping system, which uses Microsoft Excel, is designed to meet the needs of goat producers.
During a training session, project participants will practice entering weight records of current kids, pedigree information, feed cost and financial data in a computer lab. Current plans include providing participants with a monetary incentive to purchase a scale, partial support for travel to the training site, lunch and a computer program CD and training folder.
He says qualifying applicants will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding with the project team. Participating producers will be expected to use the program and to submit herd performance records for further analyses. This data will facilitate the planning and designing of an improvement program to support the Alabama meat goat industry.
To apply for the hands-on training and workshop program, download and complete the application form below. Return no later than March 31 to: Dr. Nada K. Nadarajah,
214 Upchurch Hall, Dept. of Animal Sciences, Auburn University, AL 36849. For further information, contact Nadarajah at (334) 844-1502 or email
Download Application Here