2015 Dairy Goat Linear Appraisal
Preparations began for our LA session the Monday before with the clipping of half of the girls, Tuesday the rest of the girls had their pedicue and hair cut. It was unbelievably hot for June and everyone was suffering with the 95+ degree heat. Kerri, Kristy and Kerra all stuck with it and got the job done. We could not do what we do without their help and faithfulness. Clipping for Appraisal is not necessary but we like to have the ladies dressed in their Sunday best for the event. We also had a show coming up the following Saturday. While the Hendrix and Lilly clan clipped away I got busy making pie crust and cutting up fresh fruit for breakfast. Thursday found me busy in the kitchen baking Quiche and making honey buns and cheese Danish. Friday was filled with clipping udders and cutting up the last of the fruit and rearranging the house for our guests.
Saturday morning early I put the honey buns and Quiche in the oven to warm up and filled the table with the plates, fruit tray, juice boxes and made coffee and heated water for tea. Before long 7:30 rolled around and I got the rest of breakfast out of the oven and on the table but no one showed :-/ I was beginning to think we were going to have a LOT of left overs when the parade began. Everyone was quickly settled into pens and soon began to tuck into their Breakfasts. Our Appraiser arrived and sampled some goodies and spent some time explaining the process and usefulness of the Appraisal program. A little after 8:00 we adjourned to the yard and she explained in detail the scoring process as she scored out our very co-operative 8 year old, Jael.
All our helpers and friends made things move smoothly along and soon the Senior does were all finished and we moved on to the bucks and dry yearlings. Our herd was quickly finished and the Appraiser moved on to the other two herds who were here. As each group was finished folks wandered in and snacked on the left overs from breakfast. By early afternoon all was finished, the yard was picked up and everyone had headed home. We were exhausted but pleased with the scores. I want to express my appreciation for everyone who came and helped. We hope that you all enjoyed your experience and we are looking forward to hosting again next year.:-D.
We have always found the Appraisers to be very helpful and the process very educational. We prepare a breakfast and lunch buffet for the herds we host as it is really hard to get your goats ready and transported to the host site and still have time to fit a meal in. Besides...it is a great excuse for a party :-)
I highly recommend that any herd owner make arrangements to watch an Appraisal session and then sign up for one of their own. I would be happy to answer any questions that anyone might have or to refer them to someone with the answers. The Linear Appraisal and production testing programs that are overseen by the American Dairy Goat Association are invaluable in making sound culling choices and breeding choices for your herd.
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.