Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Dr. Reid Redden, 325-653-4576, Reid.email@example.com
SONORA – Results are in and tabulated from the recently completed Texas A&M AgriLife 2017-2018 Angora Goat Performance Test.
The 148-day test is conducted at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Sonora.
Carlon Stapper of Ozona had the test’s highest indexing goat, with James Schunke of Goldthwaite having the second-highest indexing animal, said Dr. Reid Redden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo.
The Stapper buck gained 0.14 pounds per day, sheared 3.48 pounds of clean mohair and scored an overall index of 23.5. The Schunke goat gained 0.13 pounds per day, sheared 4.14 pounds of clean mohair and indexed 20.5.
Fifty-three Angora bucks completed the test. Joe David Ross of Sonora had the highest breeder average indices overall among the tested animals.
Redden said the test, conducted entirely on native range, is meant to aid in the selection of Angora bucks that can thrive and produce high-value fleeces on West Texas range with a minimum of supplemental feed.
“The test was conducted on pasture, so that performance is measured in an environment where the animals’ fitness is important,” Redden said. “The pasture test is designed for Angora breeders to test their potential herd sires. Each year, breeders send their best bucks, commonly called billies, here to the AgriLife station at Sonora to test their ability to gain weight and grow a high-value fleece on our Texas range. Texas A&M AgriLife staff at the station manage the goats on test so breeders can identify their best genetics and compare their animals to other Angora breeders.”
Redden said a new wrinkle this year was the testing of the goats for juniper, commonly called cedar, intake. He said the average goat consumed 24.7 percent of their diet as juniper, though the range varied from 8 percent to 38 percent. This is a valuable trait, because juniper, which competes with more desirable forage, is a major problem across large parts of the state.
“The averages of most traits measured were similar to those of previous years,” Redden said. “The most obvious production difference when comparing this year’s data with last year’s test data is that average daily gain was slightly less, 0.12 versus 0.16, which was a result of heavier goats starting the test. Also, fiber diameter or fineness was slightly less this year. Overall though, the average index score was very similar to last year.”
For a complete list of the data, go to https://sanangelo.tamu.edu/performance-tests/angora/ .