Country Sweet Farm participated in our first Linear Appraisal in 2016. We will continue to participate when scheduling allows. It is a lot of work (and expense) please respect your farms that do participate!
ADGA's Linear Appraisal program is a performance program designed to help breeders evaluate their individual animals based on type traits that affect the structural and functional durability of their animals.
General Appearance (first letter) 35%
Dairy Strength (second letter) 20%
Body Capacity (third letter) 10%
Mammary (fourth letter) 35%
Bucks and Young stock (under 2 years old)
Mammary is excluded of course and on young stock the E for Excellent used with the bucks and senior does is replaced with an Ec for Extremely Correct.
General Appearance is 55%
Dairy Character 30%
Body Capacity 15%.
For the letters:
E = Excellent (90 and above)
V = Very Good (85 - 89)
+ = Good Plus (80 - 84)
A = Acceptable (70 - 79)
F = Fair (60 - 69)
P = Poor (59 and below)
The ideal goat is a score of 100, but of course there is no such thing as the perfect goat. The highest score an animal can get is 94, and if they receive that score they have to go before a committee formed by the ADGA to prove that that animal really deserves a score of 94. The highest score a first freshening doe can get is 89.
We will not be participating in shows due to time, travel restraints and herd management.
Goat shows are very similar to dog shows (if you have ever been to a dog show)! You want to go to a registered show such as an ADGA or AGS sanctioned show. These shows are split into breeds and classes. Junior and Seniors are two different shows (usually the same day).
Different classes are usually:
Milking Yearling - under 24 months
Milkers - 2 to 3 years
Milkers - 3 to 4 years
Milkers - 4 to 5 years
Milkers - over 5 years
There are several things to learn such as grooming (shaved down), what to wear and how to handle the goat for the judge. There are some fairly close shows to my area such as the Tennessee Valley Fair in September.
Dairy Herd Improvement Registry (DHIR) Milk Testing
Official milk testing with the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) through the National Dairy Herd Improvement Association is called “DHIR”. DHIR is one of the most exciting programs available for goats. DHIR helps you decide if your feeding, breeding, and management programs are working, as well as advising you which animals can better contribute to your herd goals of milk production.
At first this seems very complicated and overwhelming (I know I was) and thought that it would not be possible to go on test.
Some myth buster's on DHIR...
Some things I thought:
- I thought I had to milk and log every day and my does could not raise their kids. This is not how it works! You only have to weight the milk and log it on the day of test which is once every 25-45 days. The kids can stay with the does except on the actual testing day (2 hour period).
- The expense would be too much. To enroll in the program in ADGA DHIR program it is a flat annual of $45 (1-5 does). The fees go up for a bigger herd but not by much. The lab I use is around $15 a month for about 5 does. Lab fees can vary depending on who you use.
- So here is the hardest and I think most fun part. Depending on what test you are on you need two people that are not related to you (immediate family) or have any sort of interest in your herd (somone that has not bought goats or you have bought goats from in the future or in the past). One person is your supervisor that will come out for your test every 25-45 days. One is your verification tester that comes out for all 3 of your milkings. This again will depend on what plan you are on. To become a supervisor or verification tester your lab will “certify” them. Mainly they need to go to the training, which is available on UTube for the Langston Lab. They take a test (which is not hard and easy to do) and then you are set. The fun part of this whole thing is to figure out who to ask and then start the conversation as “I have a really weird favor to ask you…”
Here is a great site to help with actually reading what everything means: http://www.caldairygoats.com/readperfped.htm
THE FORMS (the hardest part)
Sometimes I am still confused on the forms, so here is where I got confused. So first you need to get through the ADGA paperwork to be on milk test…
I thought I had everything together when filling out the forms, but I still was a mess on what program to use and who to use for my testing. I wanted the simplest official test for my herd and a lab that would help me figure all this out.
First, call your lab and get set up and it might help with understanding better. The Lab is of your choice and you have several to choose from. I tried to call several and get different information to what I needed and maybe someone that could explain all this to me. Save your time, most aren’t really interested in a small goat herd.
Langston University was the only one that seemed to know what I needed and how to get it done! It was simple to sign up with them (no enrollment fee) and they sent me out a box and e-mailed me the supervisor test. Fees are minimum which comes to around $15 a month for a small herd, mainly for record management and the actual analysis. This information is helpful to have before trying to register with the ADGA.
So here is where I got mixed up with ADGA enrollment:
Type of Test
I choose standard so that my girls would have their milk stars. Owner sampler does not give stars and I did not have a group.
Test Type Plan
WOW couldn’t figure this one out…
The test type I chose is "ITP-02 APCS", this means "Innovative Test Plan, option 02" as I do not have a Time Monitor or a bulk tank, and I want the chance of being accepted for "Breed Leader" and "Top Ten" awards. Mainly it breaks down to I have 2 milkings during the day and the test supervisor only has to come to one milking (alternate between am and pm, sample is taken at time of supervisor test). This test requires an annual herd verification test but allows ADGA DHIR Advanced Registry & Star Programs.
Again, I wanted the simplest, official test that I could have! So if you have a small herd and have 2 people that will help you out with a minimum amount of time, this is the test you want!
DHIA and DRPC
Way too many acronyms here! So if you use Langston the DHIA is Langston and the DRPC (Dairy Records Processing Center) is DRMS. The DRPC is what your lab uses so you just have to ask your lab.
So that concludes the most confusing parts! ADGA was very helpful and helped me correct my enrollment form several times before I actually got it right (felt like I was doing calculous or something with all the acronyms). I kept mixing up the DHIA, DRPC, DRMS choose the wrong test type…Again, THANK YOU ADGA for your patience!