As Spring turns to summer, it will get hotter out and all of the outside activities seem to head into full swing. Summer is usually a very busy time on a farm.
Here are a few summer farm activities we do every summer:
Whether you are just looking at goats for sale or you already have registered goats, you may look at these goat pedigrees and think – What the heck do all those letter, numbers and symbols mean? We sure did when we first started looking at goats. Reading goat pedigrees can definitely be a little like reading a foreign language. However, it is important to understand your goat’s pedigree. Afterall, you are paying more to get a goat with a pedigree, right? Then you should make sure that it is a pedigree that you want.
Ok, so you might see a pedigree that looks something like this:
SG GCH Waterloo Pond RHP Nutmeg 3*M VEEE90 (this is the dam of our buck The Winter Solider).
There are 4 parts to this title. Of note, this pegree above is ADGA only. AGS, another popular registry, has similar programs/designations with different ways to notate them.
Typically the first few letters will be designations or titles that the goat has achieved. In this example, the SG and the GCH are designations.
SG stands for Superior Genetics and indicates that she in in the top 15% of the breed for the PTI. (For more on Superior Genetics, check out the ADGA site here.)
The GCH represents that she is a grand champion. (This would reflect as ARMC or MCH in AGS and is called master or permanent champion). You could also see CH which represents a Champion.
After any top designations in your goats pedigree, you will see the goats full, registered name. The first part of the name will be the herd name (the farm that bred the goat). In our example above, it is Waterloo Pond. This will be followed by the goats name. In this example, Nutmeg. Of note, you may see initials, like the RHP in our example. Often times, these initials indicate a sire, dam or some other means of tracking the goats history. These are not required, but some people choose to use them. You may also see more elaborate names like one of our girls: Lil Mtn Karamel Moonlight. In these instances, most goats will also have a call or herd name that is shorter. In this case, it is Kara.
The next piece you will often see are *M or *D. These indicate that a goat has achieved an award for milk production (these can be either based on volume or milk components). M is used in ADGA while D is used in AGS. In bucks, you will see *B or *S and also +B and +S – they earn these based on daughters or dam’s performance. In our original example above you will see 3*M. The number before the * indicates that she is a third generation star earner.
The last piece you will see tagged onto a goat pedigree is their conformation scores or classification. In our example above, she has a Linear Appraisal Score (ADGA program) of VEEE90. The V’s and E’s represent different structural categories she is rated on. AGS also uses a similar program. If a goat has been judged in the AGS program, you will likely see just a letter and number such as E90.
Ok, whew! So, now that you know all the letters, numbers and symbols, you should be able to better understand a goat’s pedigree. And of course, if you are looking at the whole pedigree including the goats dam, sire, dam’s dam and so on, you will be able to see what traits trend in their ancestry. This will hopefully allow you to make purchase decisions to help you get to the goals you are trying to achieve with your goats.
Whether you are just thinking about getting chickens or perhaps already have chickens, you may wonder how much feed per chicken you can expect them to eat. Of course, how much feed your chickens will consume will depend on a few factors. We will look at age/size as well as feed supplements as we assess how much feed per chicken you will need to provide.
First, let’s talk about adult layers. A generally accepted layer feed consumption per day is .25 or 1/4 of a pound of chicken feed per day. This is assuming that you are feeding adult layers a regular dry chicken feed as their only source of feed.
Next, let’s talk about chicks from hatch to 8 weeks of age. Of course, a little baby chick is not going to be feed as much as an adult chicken. From our experience raising pullet growouts, each chick will eat about 5 – 6 pounds of feed from day one to 8 weeks of age. The first few weeks, they don’t consume much feed. But at week 4 or so, they can really start to plow through their feed.
Any questions on how much feed to provide your chickens? Drop them in the comments below!
Our first year gardening there was a fear we were going to do all this planning and planting and then nothing would grow. Some plants are tricky, but there are also some easy and productive crops. If you are a new gardener (or just a gardener looking for some easy crops), then you should try these!
Good quality hay is a main supply for your goats. Figuring out what to look for when choosing hay can be difficult at first. When we first looked for hay for our goats, we didn’t know anything about hay. It’s easy to assume that hay is just hay. But, in reality hay comes in many different qualities. It is especially important particularly if you are feeding goats or horses (which can be sensitive to certain things) to know how to choose a high quality hay.
Once you have your high quality hay, you will also want to make sure you have a nice hay feeder to put it in for your animals so that they can easily eat it!
Silkie Chickens are a favorite around here. If you are looking to add a new breed to your flock and aren’t sure which breed to get, Silkies are definitely a breed to consider. If you want to know the full top 5 breeds for your backyard flock check out this FREE ebook!
Why do you love Silkies?
Also, don’t forget to subscribe!