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In Reply to: Topic of the Day - Picking a Goat (Part 1) posted by GoatWorld on November 02, 2001 at 05:37:25:
In a perfect world without impulse buying (yes I've been guilty of this) things that I look for on any goat (dairy, meat, or pet) are:
Does the animal look healthy - clear eyes, no snots or coughing, trimmed feet that are clean of foot rot, NO ABCESSESS, good weight, friendly, a shiny coat. Health papers are a plus but not necessary! (its nice if the goats have had testing for different diseases like CAE, TB or Brucella)
Oh yeah - conformation: That cute kid may have the longest ears but how correct are the legs that hold up that body? Poor confomation can lead to problems and lameness if the fault is severe enough.
When was the animal vaccinated last? Wormed? and with what wormer?
How do other goats look on the farm - well fed, no sick animals? If you're getting a young one look at adults to see how well they've matured so you have an idea on how yours should grow. Is the farm well managed, or full of manure and empty hay feeders?
And then if you're getting more picky which you may if you get into showing, or improving animals on dairy or meat production:
Registration papers - do tattoos match? Don't buy w/o having the signed transfer papers in your hands!!! or else a signed application with breeding slip. Many times "I'll send you the papers" leaves you with a beautiful,expensive, paper-less doe.
Production records? How was the dam in milk? DHIA or Linear Appraisal scores avalable too look at? Show records? Or in meat breeds - how was average daily gain, and muscling on the animals? Dont forget the fiber breeds too! Is the fleece clean, or full of tags? Is the fleece uniform, and crimpy? Are the animals shorn annually, or just around for a novelity?
Just a few things I happen to think of off hand. I've made a few good purchases, and a few poor ones. Sometimes no matter how hard you research things, they still backfire. A good breeder should be more then willing to have a few coffee cups over this kid you want and be willing to answer a phone call at 3am should something go amiss.
-Nat's Little Bit
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