Extended Lactation, Proven Dairy Herd, Great conformation, Easy to milk

Conformation

Explanation of Dairy Strength

The following explanation is described in a dairy goat yahoo group to define the what and why of specific dairy strengths. The person who wrote this is a very long term dairy breeder of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberhasli. He is also a long term ADGA judge. I’m going to place his explanation below, in bullets, to help highlight specific things in his explanation. I’m hoping he can also provide photos. For now, the wording. This explanation is in answer to a question about why “sharp withers” are desirable.

  • Sharp withers is a component of dairy strength.
  • Does that have the characteristics called for in dairy strength typically make more milk for longer periods of time. This is one of the reasons I encourage people with dairy goats to actually milk their goats. It will become obvious that the words on the scorecard are their for a reason.
  1. flatness of bone
  2. angularity
  3. openness of rib
  4. incurving thighs
  5. pliable skin, etc.

Our very first Nigerian was actually purchased as a non-registered Pygmy and was accepted into the then open herdbook via the committee process. She was NOT a good Pygmy having a much longer bone pattern than is typical. She did not have the sharpness of withers, the flatness of bone or the open, angular ribs desired. And while she’d make lots of milk early in her lactation, by 3-4 months fresh, she would dry herself off. Herdmates that were more correct in dairy strength, while maybe not peaking as high, were still milking well 6+ months after kidding and would milk enough to justify milking for 10 or more months. There are exceptions to every “rule” so there will be individuals that may lack the traits for dairy strength and still be milk machines but across the board, those that excel there will typically live up to the “dairy” in dairy goat better than those that don’t have the traits.

And that’s why the category was changed from dairy character to dairy strength. While the criteria remained the same, too many were leaning towards a more frail-type doe. Making milk for a long period of time takes its toll on the body and if they lack adequate strength of bone, they won’t hold up over the long haul. The goal of the unified scorecard is to select the type of goat that will make lots of milk over a long period of time.

Score Cards

ADGA

The goal of the Unified Scorecard is to aid in the selection of the type of dairy goat that can function efficiently over a long productive lifetime. Here are the exact categories and points used by ADGA

POINTS Senior
Doe
Junior
Doe
Buck Peggy’s Added Photos
A. GENERAL APPEARANCE
An attractive framework with femininity (masculinity in bucks), strength, upstandingness, length, and smoothness of blending throughout that create an impressive style and graceful walk.
35 55 55

Note how this doe has a topline (back line) that slope downwards to the hip, from the withers. Note the long clean neck.

Stature – slightly taller at withers than at hips with long bone pattern throughout. 2 2 2
Head & Breed Characteristics – clean-cut and balanced in length, width, and depth; broad muzzle with full nostrils; well-sculpted, alert eyes; strong jaw with angular lean junction to throat; appropriate size, color, ears, and nose to meet breed standard. 5 10 8
Front End Assembly – prominent withers arched to point of shoulder with shoulder blade, point of shoulder, and point of elbow set tightly and smoothly against the chest wall both while at rest and in motion; deep and wide into chest floor with moderate strength of brisket. 5 8 10

Note how the withers are set slightly higher (defined) from the rump. Also how his front legs are directly underneath his withers.

Apache_Front_63032014

Note wide chest floor

Back – strong and straight with well-defined vertebrae throughout and slightly uphill to withers; level chine with full crops into a straight, wide loin; wide hips smoothly set and level with back; strong rump which is uniformly wide and nearly level from hips to pinbones and thurl to thurl; thurls set two-thirds of the distance from hips to pinbones; well defined and wide pinbones set slightly lower than the hips; tailhead slightly above and smoothly set between pinbones; tail symmetrical to body and free from coarseness; vulva normal in size and shape in females (normal sheath and testes in males). 8 12 10
Legs, Pasterns & Feet – bone flat and strong throughout leading to smooth, free motion; front legs with clean knees, straight, wide apart and squarely placed; rear legs wide apart and straight from the rear and well angulated in side profile through the stifle to cleanly molded hocks, nearly perpendicular from hock to B, yet flexible pastern of medium length; strong feet with tight toes, pointed directly forward; deep heels with sole nearly uniform in depth from toe to heel. 15 23 25
B. DAIRY STRENGTH
Angularity and openness with strong yet refined and clean bone structure, showing enough substance, but with freedom from coarseness and with evidence of milking ability giving due regard to stage of lactation (of breeding season in bucks).
Neck – long, lean, and blending smoothly into the shoulders; clean-cut throat and brisket with adequate width of chest floor to support maintenance of body functions.
Withers – prominent and wedge-shaped with the dorsal process arising slightly above the shoulder blades.
Ribs – flat, flinty, wide apart, and long; lower rear ribs should angle to flank.
Flank – deep, yet arched and free of excess tissue.
Thighs – in side profile, moderately incurving from pinbone to stifle; from the rear, clean and wide apart, highly arched and out-curving into the escutcheon to provide ample room for the udder and its attachment.
Skin – thin, loose, and pliable with soft, lustrous hair.
20 30 30
C. BODY CAPACITY
Relatively large in proportion in size, age, and period of lactation of animal (of breeding season for bucks), providing ample capacity, strength, and vigor.
10 15 15
Chest – deep and wide, yet clean-cut, with well sprung for ribs, full in crops and at point of elbow. 4 7 7
Barrel – strongly supported, long, deep, and wide; depth and spring of rib tending to increase into a deep yet refined flank 6 8 8
D. MAMMARY SYSTEM
Strongly attached, elastic, well-balanced with adequate capacity, quality, ease of milking, and indicating heavy milk production over a long period of usefulness.
35
Udder Support – strong medial suspensory ligament that clearly defines the udder halves, contributes to desirable shape and capacity, and holds the entire udder snugly to the body and well above the hocks. Fore, rear, and lateral attachments must be strong and smooth. 13
Fore Udder – wide and full to the side and extending moderately forward without excess non-lactating tissue and indicating capacity, desirable shape, and productivity. 5
Rear Udder – capacious, high, wide, and arched into the escutcheon; uniformity wide and deep to the floor; moderately curved in side profile without protruding beyond the vulva. 7
Balanced, Symmetry & Quality – in side profile, one-third of the capacity visible in front of the leg, one-third under the leg, and one-third behind the leg; well-rounded with soft, pliable, and elastic texture that is well collapsed after milking, free of scar tissue, with halves evenly balanced. 6
Teats – uniform size and of medium length and diameter in proportion to capacity of udder, cylindrical in shape, pointed nearly straight down or slightly forward, and situated two-thirds of the distance from the medial suspensory ligament on the floor of each udder-half to the side, indicating ease of milking. 4
TOTALS 100 100 100

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AGS Score Card

AGS UNIFIED SCORE CARD

Senior Doe

Junior Doe

Buck

GENERAL APPEARANCE

35

56

56

Style, upstandingness, length of bone, & femininity/masculinity (taller at withers than at hips, smoothly blended throughout with long bone pattern and an appearance of strength, balance, health, and vigor)

3

3

3

Front end assembly (arched shoulders with shoulder blade, point of shoulder, and point of elbow set tightly and smoothly against the chest wall, full in crops with moderate extension and development of brisket)

4

8

7

Head & breed character (head wide, of medium length, broad muzzled, with full nostrils, strong jawed, with alert eyes, clean-cut about the throat. Appropriate size, color, ears, nose, and other breed specifics)

6

10

12

Back: topline & rump (strong and straight with well defined vertebrae throughout, sloping gently downward from withers, level chine, loin straight & wide, rump strong, long, wide, nearly level, dropping slightly from hips to pins, wide & nearly flat between thurls, pin bones & hip bones wide apart and well defined. Hips nearly level with back. Tail head smoothly set slightly above pin bones)

8

13

10

Feet & legs; (front legs wide apart, clean kneed, straight, strong, set squarely underneath; rear legs with tendons well defined, well angulated in side profile through the stifle to cleanly molded hocks, nearly perpendicular from hock to pastern, pasterns of medium length, strong & resilient, feet short, strong, with tight toes pointed directly forward, heels as deep as toe)

14

22

24

fore legs

4

6

6

rear legs

4

6

7

fore feet & pasterns

3

5

5

rear feet & pasterns

3

5

6

DAIRY CHARACTER

15

22

22

Angularity (lean and free of excess fleshing, depth and width increasing from heart girth to rear barrel)

3

4

4

Neck (long, lean, clean cut, blending smoothly into all body junctions)

3

4

4

Skin & ribs (skin loose, thin pliable, with smooth slick hair coat; ribs long, flat, flinty, widely spaced, fore ribs well spring, lower ribs angled toward flank)

3

4

4

Thighs & flank (thighs, from side, moderately incurving from pin bone to stifle; from rear, clean and wide apart, highly arched and out-curving into the escutcheon to accommodate the udder and its attachment; flank well defined, deep, yet arched, free of excess tissue)

3

5

5

Withers (prominent, wedge-shaped, with the dorsal process arising slightly above the shoulder blades

3

5

5

BODY CAPACITY

15

22

22

Chest & heart girth (deep and wide, with well sprung fore ribs, full in crops and at point of elbow)

7

10

10

Barrel (strongly supported, long, deep, and wide, with well sprung ribs, increasing in depth and width toward rear with maturity)

8

12

12

MAMMARY SYSTEM

35

Fore udder (wide, full to the side, moderate forward extension, free of non-lactating tissue, blending smoothly into barrel)

6

Rear udder (capacious, high, widely arched into escutcheon; uniformly wide and deep to floor; moderately curved in side profile without protruding beyond the vulva, blending smoothly into escutcheon)

7

Teats (uniform in size, of medium length and diameter, proportionate to udder size, cylindrical in shape, ideally plumb when viewed from the side or rear, situated outward of center on the floor of each udder half, orifice size to facilitate ease of milking)

4

Support (strong medial suspensory ligament that clearly defines the udder halves, contributes to desirable shape and capacity, and holds the udder snugly against the body and well above the hocks. Lateral attachments strong, extending well down the inside of the thigh, contributing to a large area of attachment)

12

Quality: shape, balance, & texture (globular; of adequate capacity with due regard to stage of lactation; from the side, approx. one-third visible in front of the leg, one-third under the leg, and one-third behind the leg; texture soft, pliable, and elastic, well collapsed after milking, free of scar tissue, with halves symmetrical)

6

TOTALS

100

100

100

 

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