2017 Dairy Goat Linear Appraisal
This spring we have been on a bit of a roller coaster around here. Kidding season started at the middle of February and we still have one doe left to kid...February through June is a long time :-) About 6 weeks ago both LeRoy and I started dragging a bit but managed to get everything done as we went. Last month LeRoy suddenly had no energy and neither did I...A couple days later we were needing help just to get through the chores. We were so hoping to go to the Spring Show in Spokane and to have our usual Pre appraisal breakfast but it just wasn't possible so we just did the best we could and depended on our friends to pick up the slack. Time has helped and both of us are feeling a lot better and slowly regaining strength. The Hendrix family and Cole Ahrendt came and made short work of clipping 14 does and trimming their feet for us. We gathered snacks, sub rolls and lunch meats and vegies for folks to make up some lunch for themselves and filled our cooler with drinks and ice. LeRoy mowed the whole yard and used the string trimmer to clean up the edges. We were as ready as we could get when the Appraiser and his apprentice arrived bright and early on June 19th.
Many hands made light work and after spending considerable time explaining the process and detailing faults and strong points on our sweet and patient 5 year old doe Zamar, the appraiser moved quickly through the rest of our herd and moved on to the other 3 herds who had come to join us.
The weather couldn't have been better and soon everyone was finished and came in for lunch. The Appraisers answered questions, got their sandwiches and snacks and headed down the road to their next appointment and we crashed as everyone drifted off toward home.
Years ago, at our first Linear Appraisal the Appraiser asked me what my goals were for the herd and I told him “To have a herd where all my mature does appraise 90 or better. We have achieved that goal and will continue to try and raise that bar. As always it was a wonderful learning experience. We are thrilled with the way our does scored. Our mature does have all appraised at 90 or higher and each age group seems to be about right were I would expect them to be for their age. We are delighted. I strongly urge you to have your does Appraised and to attend an Appraisal session to observe and learn. It will be a day well spent no matter what breed.
Please feel free to e-mail me any questions that you might have. I'll do my best to answer you or direct you to someone who can answer you.
About Linear Appraisal
Linear Appraisal is a program sponsored by the American Dairy Goat Association where a trained goat appraiser assesses each goat for quality of conformation. It's similar to a show but instead of the goat being judged against the other goats in the ring, during appraisal they are judged against the mythical perfect goat. This information is quite helpful as it allows us to breed better goats and avoid many conformational problems that might crop up if we didn't have a professional to help us look at our goats with a finely trained eye. Scores of 80 to 84 are considered Good, 85 to 89 are Very Good, and 90 or above are Excellent. By the way, the mythical perfect goat is a "mature" goat. That is why you will see our younger does with a slightly lower score than the mature girls. We like the youngsters to score in the low to mid 80's and improve each year. Getting a very high score as a first freshener might indicate a doe that will peak too early and burn out. We like our goats to mature slowly and show improvement each year.