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Old 01-29-2011, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default How to choose a goat for 4-H?

Just pondering a few things that came to mind. My kids start their 4-H meetings on Tuesday <fingers crossed!> They missed last months meeting because well...Ithma decided to go into labor that evening...

What's a good average age for a goat to be shown in the fair, especially for first timers? My kids are ages 9 and 12 --- my son will be 10 when the fair comes around.

We're hoping for a market whether for each, and a percentage doe. I know our local fair last year had an open show or something like that? I can't remember, but they had quite a few categories, so hopefully that doesn't change this year.

If you show a percentage doe but don't have her registration papers yet, how do you go about getting her into a fair? We're in KY, and I know it varies from state to state, but having some kind of idea on what I can do would help.

I have one doeling I am sending in registration papers hopefully on Monday.

We have 3 does due at the end of Feb, and we're hoping the kids can pick from their babies, so any doelings would be a concern on paperwork especially...

Our fair is usually the 2nd or 3rd week in June...yep very early in the summer.

I have other questions, but someone from my state would have to answer those, so I'll just wait and save those for Tues evenings meeting.

I'm sure when the time comes I'll post a zillion pics to get your opinions for which kids my kids should use. Then the fun of getting them ready...heh...



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Old 01-29-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to choose a goat for 4-H?

Market wethers, depending on their genetics and feed ration, should reach their peak around 6 months and might be able to hold condition until they are 8 months. In my opinion, you should try to target 70-75# the day of the show. 4h wethers are usually divided into classes based on weight the day of the show. So if you have a wether that weighs say 48# it may show in the lightweight class, again depending on how many animals there are and how the weight classes breakdown, or he may fall into the middleweight class. You just never know until the weigh day what class your wether will show in. Your best chance to the grand champion wether, again would be to aim for a wether in the heavy weight class, usually 68# and over. It is almost imposssible to exactly estimate the weight of your wether or see its potential as a kid unless you have previous kids from the same dam/sire pairing to use as examples. Show wether breeders have specific lines that they use for their own wethers. Detailed notes and weights are kept on these lines with exact feed rations and amounts, also noted. Essentially a newborn kid from these documented lines can be "judged " at birth, then following the prerecorded schedule their final shape/weight is less of a mystery come show day. These are the club wether kids sold at production sales for BIG$$...Not knowing when your 4H fair is makes it hard to judge when you should look for a wether prospect...My kids will show in July. Their wethers are already on site, from one of my "wether lines". 1 is a Novemeber kid, the 7th, and the other is a January kid,15th...They should show in the middle and heavy weight classes. I/we chose these specific wethers from 3 large groups based on their bloodlines and their early conformation andf because they should show in different classes, less sibling fighting then...Will they win? No Guarentees but they will be Big and Long....So maybe your first year at the show can be a learning year. Record all the information on your wethers and see what you get...then next year if you choose animls from the same lines, the outcome will be less of a mystery.
Does/doelings are shown in classes based on age. They must be tagged or tattooed, for identification purposes. You may not need aperwork for them at all if they are tagged, but you will have to ask your county 4H educator that or your goat project leader. FB/PB/% all fall under the same rules/classes and they should be outlined in your fair/show handbook...again check with your county officials...



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Old 02-21-2011, 09:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to choose a goat for 4-H?

4-H might be different where you are Candace, but here my guys needed to have their wethers or does by May, I think. They said not to get a baby who had been born after March because they wouldn't make weight. The kids then taught the babies how to walk on leads, trim feet, and keep track of what they fed their project goats. The shows didn't start until October/November and went through December I think. There were only like 6-8 shows in our area, I think.
My kids didn't show last year because the boer/kiko doelings would have all been in the light weight class and just didn't look very good to me. We're hoping to have some meatier wethers for them to show this year but we may even wait until the next.
Most of the kids at the meat goat 4-h meeting were 10 and up, but my kids range from 7-14. I'm not much help, but I don't think the boers and boer crosses will have much trouble making weight by Oct/Nov especially if they are Jan/Feb babies. If I was BUYING instead of home growing our projects, I'd look for a January born baby. They have to still have all of their milk teeth to show, and they get a couple adult teeth around 12 months so you don't want a baby born before that.

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Old 02-21-2011, 11:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to choose a goat for 4-H?

Here in TN they dont have to be registered, but if they are they have to be tattooed. If not registered, they have to have a scrapie tag. They have a meat doe class (and if she is shown in that, she cant show in the replacement class) and they go by weights. I sell most of my kids to 4-H kids.

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Old 02-22-2011, 01:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to choose a goat for 4-H?

2 of our children are in 4-H. My kids are fairly competitive so they want girls that are going to win. They also have to have an animal they can build a relationship with as I can't do any of the "work" (shaving, hooves ect...) once we are on show grounds. It is also important to me that the size is appropriate. My daughter shows a larger ND (Wildflower) and loves her. She is well trained on a lead though and easy to set up. My son showed a kid last year (his choice although he had others available). this year I am sure he will take his bigger goat, Jazz or a new to him goat. Our paperwork is always due in May. I also have to rent my goats to my children as they are registered in my name even though we have a family AGS membership.

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to choose a goat for 4-H?

Ok I found out tonight at the meeting that the market whethers have to have a state ID/skin test and they gave me a list in case we do whethers - we have until Mid May to figure it out - before the closest state ID/skin test.
With the does, we have to have a vet certificate before each show and just bring paperwork.

We want our kids to use doelings we have had born <4 to choose from>. I am going to send their paperwork in this week to start the registration process.

Oh - the does HAVE to be registered in my kids names. BUT, I think I can register both my kids names on each goat.



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