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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
Bruce Lane, 660-665-9866
COLUMBIA, Mo.– Goat producers now have a new tool to help manage their herds.
The Meat Goat Management Wheel – jointly developed through a partnership of University of Missouri Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Missouri State University and Lincoln University – helps goat farmers refine their schedule to enhance goat production.
The need for the wheel arose from Missouri’s rise to the top 10 nationally in goat numbers.
“The goat industry in Missouri has grown dramatically over the past decade, so we have many goat owners who are fairly new to the production and management of goats,” said Bruce Lane, University of Missouri Extension regional livestock specialist.
The wheel lists 17 steps, beginning with managing bucks and evaluating does’ body condition before breeding begins, through analyzing and scheduling animal replacement strategy, to market strategy after the kids have been weaned.
“The Meat Goat Management Wheel is a tool that experienced and novice producers can use to help plan successful production programs by reminding them when to carry out important management strategies key to successful meat goat enterprises,” Lane said.
In combination with a wall calendar, the easy-to-use tool helps producers stay on schedule and know when to carry out important goat herd management operations.
The wheel, made of washable plastic, can be used in a variety of ways to schedule tasks. For example:
-Rotate the wheel to your ideal kidding date to learn the recommended dates for all the doe, buck and kid management tasks for the entire year.
-Rotate the wheel to the date breeding began to find out when the kids should start arriving.
-Rotate the wheel to the date the kids arrived to determine when to give vaccinations, increase nutrition and perform other necessary tasks.
In addition to scheduling assistance, the wheel provides general management information that can be adjusted for individual operations and different management styles. Producers with questions about any of these recommendations should consult local experts.
Wheels can be ordered for $9 plus shipping and handling through MU Extension Publications at 800-292-0969 or http://extension.missouri.edu/mp913.
If you are interested in becoming a Meat Goat Management Wheel vendor, contact Andy Emerson at 573-882-2792.
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