Every year the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is performed at the University of Maryland’s Western Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville, MD. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the performance of meat goats consuming a pasture-only diet, with natural exposure to internal parasites, primarily Haemonchus contortus (the barber pole worm).
One of SVMGA member John Smith’s Kiko bucks tied for second highest rate-of-gain and another finished with an above average rate-of-gain.
The test evaluates performance, not looks.
“A central performance test is where animals from different herds are brought to one central location where performance is recorded. The rationale is that observed differences are more likely due to genetic differences, which will be passed onto offspring, rather than environmental differences, which will not be passed onto offspring. The goal of a central performance test is to identify genetic differences among animals.” (Dr. Dan Waldron, Texas A&M University)
Thanks to John Smith of Caprine Genetics for this information.