The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center of San Angelo will conduct an Angora goat test starting in December for billy kids born in 2019. The test will take place at their Sonora Experiment Station, which is approximately 28 miles south of Sonora on State Highway 55.
The cost is $100 per animal upon delivery to the test, which will run from Dec. 11-July 15. The goal is to provide producers with scientific data to better decide which billies may be genetically most appropriate for their program.
“The purpose of this program is to aid in the selection of goats that can thrive in a range environment and produce high-value fleeces,” said Reid Redden, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension Service sheep and goat specialist, San Angelo. “The test will be conducted on pasture so that performance is measured in an environment where fitness is important.”
The goats will be supplemented as needed, based on pasture conditions, but the majority of their nutritional intake will be dependent on their foraging/browsing ability. Billies will be weighed every 30 to 45 days, and if the rate of gain is below normal for the particular time of year, feed supplementation will be adjusted. Billies will be observed multiple times per week for overall health.
There will also be two fecal collections in the spring to determine juniper, commonly called cedar, intake via near-infrared spectroscopy analysis. Juniper is an invasive and abundant woody-species in West Texas and being able to select goats that consume greater amounts of juniper can help control encroachment.
Angora performance test schedule:
- Delivery and Consignor Meeting – Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m.
- Initial Weigh Day and Shearing – Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
- Final Weigh Day and Shearing – July 15 at 8:30 a.m.
The $100 fee includes two shearings, fiber analysis on a fleece core sample, fecal collection and analysis, pasture use, labor, feed and miscellaneous supplies. Fleeces collected at the first shearing will be returned to breeders. Fleeces collected at the second shearing will be retained and sold to offset costs related to the test.
Redden and Doug Tolleson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension Research rangeland specialist, Sonora, will be overseeing the test. For information, contact Redden at 325-653-4576 or Tolleson at 325-387-3168.