2013 Dairy Goat Linear Appraisal
Appraisal day dawned wet and cold but at least there was no wind. The rain held off for about half of the morning before we had to retire to the barn for the rest of the session. The goats were cold and the kids thought that the Appraiser's clipboard was going to eat them for sure! We managed to get everyone evaluated and straggled in to enjoy some hot coffee or tea and to eat lunch. The left over quiche and fruit from breakfast also graced the lunch table and the cold cuts and sandwiches disappeared as well. Folks sat around and visited with the Appraisers and each other and we enjoyed the chance to warm up and chat.
I am delighted with the scores that our yearlings got and the rest of the goats scored well too. It will take a few weeks to digest and evaluate and then we will be working on our breeding plan for the fall. Well, actually we are already working on that breeding plan but it is still a work in progress.
We will again plan to host a Linear Appraisal stop next spring/summer. It is a wonderful program and we enjoy the opportunity to visit with other goat friends and discuss our favorite critters with knowledgeable folks.
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.