2016 Dairy Goat Linear Appraisal
In the weeks leading up to Linear Appraisal preparations were made. We had a dilemma. The girls had been clipped for a show in mid June and would need to be clipped for a show at the end of June...If we clipped them for Appraisal (August 9) it would mean having to reclip again for the final shows of the year. Being way to old for that nonsense I opted to wait until the end of August to clip everyone again. The girls were a little more hairy than I like for Appraisal but such is life.
Appraisal day dawned with heavy clouds and pouring rain...UGH not ideal at all. The two herds who were coming arrived right on schedule and everyone enjoyed hot coffee and honeybuns and the rest of the breakfast spread. We headed out to get started as the rain let up a bit. We opted to start with the bucks...one very rutty two year old followed by a very large and also very much in rut yearling. Laurie worked to get a picture of each of the boys but the camera was not co operating and neither were the boys. We decided candid shots of the bucks would do and moved on to the does.
Because of the rain we all crowded into the corner of the barn and put our appraiser to work. We moved through the does pretty quickly and soon brought out our solid black doe...Our barn has lots of lights but it isn't as bright as one would like for trying to appraise a black animal.
Fortunately for all of us the rain stopped and we moved outside to continue with the rest of the herd.
We were all finished by about 1:30 and all of us moved inside the house to get hot drinks and to finish up the last of the Quiche and fruit. Our Appraiser stuck around and answered questions for awhile before heading off for his 3:00PM appointment south of Spokane.
We want to say a huge THANK-YOU to all our helpers: Kerra Lilly for doing a great job presenting each of the does, Laurie and Dave Duff-Robertson for taking pictures and generally picking up the slack where needed, to Suzanne Strong for holding does for pictures, and udder rechecks and whatever else was needed. A very special and grateful thanks to Meadow Gleason and Kerri Hendricks who transported their herds here so we could
qualify for a host herd stop. We appreciate their efforts.
A huge and very special thanks to LaNette Harper and Cindy Bickley for making sure the coffee pot was full and the food was ready. They both arrived early in the morning and helped me get things out and LaNette cut up fruit like crazy the night before! They were truly a God send and I am forever in their debt.
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.