Registered purebred and percentage Kiko Goats raised for hardiness, meat and pack goat prospects
Kopf Canyon Ranch

On-Farm Performance Data

We keep and share performance data on our animals for the benefit of the breed.  Data drives our decisions, and we believe others should have access to the same data to make theirs. 

If you would like more information about data collection for your program,
we offer links to performance tools on our links page.

  
Show me the numbers…

The Kiko goat was created to be a performance meat goat. However, many Kiko breeders are not collecting and reporting performance data on the breeding stock they sell. One often hears or reads statements such as ‘that’s a good goat’, ‘he’s a fast-grower’, or ‘she’ll throw some nice kids’. While all these statements may be true, rarely are there any hard and fast numbers to back them up. Therefore, it’s often difficult to decide which goats are performing better than others and thus, which you should consider purchasing. There seem to be two primary reasons why breeders are not reporting performance data: 1) they just are not collecting it for various reasons (don’t own a scale, too much trouble, don’t know how, etc.), or 2) they are collecting it, but they don’t like what the numbers say about the genetics on their farm so they prefer not to report it. The first can be solved quite easily with the purchase of a cheap scale, a little hard work, and/or a little know-how, while the second requires a substantial amount of genetic improvement to solve.

One objection I typically hear about performance data is that it cannot be compared among farms, especially between different climatic regions such as the Southeast and Midwest. [This is where the value of forage-based performance tests come into play by removing the environmental variations and allowing comparisons of goats from different farms to be made based on their genetics.] Performance data is also highly dependent on the particular management style one uses on their farm.

Obviously, comparing 90d ADG’s between a primarily grain-fed buck from Iowa and a forage/browse raised buck from Alabama would not make much sense. However, comparing bucks within a farm does make sense. If one wanted to purchase the top performing buck from either of these farms, then each farm would need to collect performance data in order to accurately state which of their bucks actually was the top performer. Otherwise, how would they know? Although comparing performance data across regions should be done with caution, breeders still need to collect data on their own farms so they know who is performing and who is not. It is the only accurate way to make culling decisions and improve on-farm genetics.

I once asked a prominent breeder when he was going to include performance data in his annual production sale. Being a savvy businessman, he stated “when the market demands it”. I think the time has come that, as sellers of quality breeding stock, breeders need to start collecting performance data and as buyers, we need to be telling them SHOW ME THE NUMBERS…!

Andrew Miller
Rush Creek Farms
Goat Rancher Magazine, Nov 2007