In 2020, the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research will sponsor several extension/education activities. We start with our annual Goat Field Day, which is always scheduled for the last Saturday in April. Other workshops planned are Cheesemaking, Tanning Goatskins, Sustainable Internal Parasite Control, and Artificial Insemination. Due to the hands-on nature of the workshops, the number of participants will be limited. So reserve your place as soon as the registration form becomes available.
If you are interested in receiving future information regarding these events, please check contact Dr. Terry A. Gipson. In compliance with the ADA Act, participants with special needs can be reasonably accommodated by contacting (405) 466-6126, at least five business days prior to the scheduled event.
Tentative Calendar of 2020 Extension Events
April 25, 2020 - Goat Field Day
May 30, 2020 - Parasite workshop and FAMACHA training
October 3, 2020 - Artificial insemination
N.B. Dates are subject to change and workshop may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
Production Handbooks (order forms):
The year 2019 was a busy year for the Langston Goat Extension program. The goat extension specialists have answered innumerable producer requests for goat production and product information via the telephone, letters and e-mail, have given numerous presentations at several state, regional, national and international goat conferences for potential, novice and veteran goat producers, and have produced quarterly newsletters. They have also been busy with several major extension activities. These activities include the annual Goat Field Day, Langston Goat Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) Program, grazing demonstrations, and various goat workshops on artificial insemination, tanning hides, and on internal parasite control.
Goat DHI Lab
This past year was a year of change for the Langston Goat Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) Program as it became independent and expanded its record processing capabilities. In 1996, the Langston DHI program launched under the umbrella of the Texas DHIA. That partnership was not mutually beneficial and Langston Goat Dairy DHI elected to operate independently. In addition, the dairy records processing software that had been initially acquired from Texas DHIA had reached well beyond it capabilities and could not be modernized. Thus, Langston Goat Dairy DHI has partnered with Dairy Records Management System (DRMS) of Raleigh, NC to conduct the record processing. The Langston DHI program became the first DHI program to introduce forms and reports in goat terminology to dairy goat producers in the United States. A national Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) has been in existence for a number of years. However, until 1996 DHIA catered only to cow dairies. The Langston DHI program has been very popular with dairy goat producers and has grown significantly since its establishment in 1996. Goat producers are now able to get records for their animals that reflect accurate information with the correct language. Currently, we have 157 producer herds in 34 states enrolled in the Langston Goat Dairy DHI Program. In 2017, the DHI laboratory processed more than 12,000 samples. Langston University continues to serve the very small-scale dairy goat producer. The average herds size on test with Langston University is 10 animals. This is significantly smaller than the herd size average for the five other processing centers. For those interested in becoming a Langston goat DHI tester, training is available either in a formal classroom setting or through a 35-minute video tape (see additional information in the YouTube section). Every tester is required to attend the DHI training session or view the tape and take a test. Upon completion of the DHI training, the milk tester can start performing monthly herd tests.
To date, the Goat Extension program published four issues of the 8-page Goat Newsletter in 2018. Interest in the newsletter has grown and we currently have over 1,600 subscribers to our free quarterly Goat Newsletter and the subscription list continues to increase every year. The Goat Newsletter is mailed to every state in the nation and to 10 countries overseas. Ninety-seven percent of the mailings go to American households. At least one newsletter is mailed to a household in every state in the nation. Fifty percent of the newsletters are mailed to Oklahoma households. An additional thirty percent of the newsletters are mailed to households to state adjacent to Oklahoma.
Artificial Insemination Workshop
The use of superior sires is imperative in improving the genetic composition of breeding stock. Artificial insemination has long been used in the dairy cattle industry and is a simple technology that goat producers can acquire. However, opportunities for goat producers to the necessary skills via formal and practical instruction are not widespread. Langston University has instituted a practical workshop for instruction in artificial insemination in goats. Producers are instructed in the anatomy and physiology of the female goat, estrus detection and handling and storage of semen. Producers participate in a hands-on insemination exercise. An understanding of the anatomy and physiology enable the producer to devise seasonal breeding plans and to troubleshoot problem breeders. An understanding of estrus detection enables the producer to effective time inseminations for favorable conditions for conception and to effectively utilize semen. An understanding of semen handling and storage enables the producer to safeguard semen supplies, which can be scarce and costly. The experience of actually inseminating a female goat enables the producer to practice the knowledge that they have gained. The acquisition of these inseminating skill will allow producers the use of genetically superior sires in their herds that they normally would not have access to. It also allows producers to save money by conducting the inseminating themselves instead of hiring an inseminator. In 2017, an AI workshops was held in October at the Langston University campus. Eleven participants were trained.
The first edition Meat Goat Production Handbook has been sold-out and the revised second edition is available. The Meat Goat Production Handbook was partially funded by USDA/FSIS/OPHS project #FSISC-10-2005. An illustrated and scaled-down version of the Meat Goat Production Handbook is available. Our collaborating project institutions/organizations include Kentucky State University and the University at Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Partial funding to develop the Meat Goat Production Basics was from USDA/NIFA grant #2010-38821-21581 (OKLX-GIPSON10). The University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez has translated the Meat Goat Production Basics book into Spanish for the Producción de Cabros para Carne Conceptos Básicos.
The Dairy Goat Production Handbook has 475 pages of information on all aspects of dairy goat production and could be considered as a companion book to the Institute’s Meat Goat Production Handbook, 2nd Edition. Partial funding to develop the Dairy Goat Production Handbook was from USDA/NIFA grant #2011-38821-30952 (OKLXMERKEL11). In addition to the full handbook, the Institute has also created the Dairy Goat Production Basics, a condensed, easy-to-read version of selected chapters from the full handbook similar to what was done to create the Meat Goat Production Basics. Partial funding to develop the Dairy Goat Production Basics was from USDA/NIFA grant #2011-38821-30952 (OKLXMERKEL11). To better serve the Institute’s Spanish speaking clientele, the Dairy Goat Production Basics book has been translated into Spanish and the Producción de Cabras Lecheras Conceptos Básicos is available. The Institute worked with scientists of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM) in the editing and review process. Partial funding to develop the Producción de Cabras Lecheras Conceptos Básicos was from USDA/NIFA grant #2011-38821-30952 (OKLXMERKEL11).
Order forms for these production handbooks can be found above.
Controlling Internal Parasites Workshop
Internal parasites (Barberpole worm, Haemonchus contortus) is the leading cause of death in goats in the Southern US, accounting for as many deaths as the total of the next three leading causes of death in goats. Several factors contribute to the high mortality caused by internal parasites.
Goats which originated in dry areas where there was no internal parasite challenge have been brought to the humid South where there is great parasite challenge. Only a few animals have good genetic resistance against internal parasites. In addition, goats are forced to graze rather than browse which provides greater opportunity to consume infective larvae and especially so when animals overgraze. Producers are not familiar with monitoring animals for signs of parasitism and do not understand how animals get infected. In addition internal parasites have developed a high level of resistance to dewormers from the overuse of dewormers in goats. To address these concerns, Langston developed a parasite workshop to educate producers about internal parasites. It includes 3 hours of lecture on biology of the parasite, pasture management to avoid worms and monitoring parasite infection using the FAMACHA chart which assesses the degree of anemia. This is a cooperative effort with OSU Extension Veterinarian who addresses dewormer resistance and correct use of dewormers. Producers get hands-on instruction in use of the FAMACHA card, taking fecal samples and running fecal egg counts.
Created in 2005, YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, view and share videos. YouTube now has over 120 million videos, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. The Goat Program at Langston University has created its own YouTube channel which can be visited here. Additional videos will be added to the channel in the future.
Nutrient Requirements of Goats
Under a research project which developed equations for energy and protein requirements for goats, as well as prediction of feed intake, an extension sub-project developed a website calculation system for “Nutrient Requirements of Goats” (http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/research/nutreqgoats.html). Most calculators were based on studies of the project reported in a Special Issue of the journal Small Ruminant Research. For calculators with score inputs (i.e., grazing and body conditions), pictures are available to aid in determining most appropriate entries. Realistic examples are given, as well as discussion of appropriate and inappropriate usage. However, for the experienced user there is an option to hide text and examples and to view only inputs and outputs.
In 2005, a calculator for calcium and phosphorus requirements was added to the existing calculators for metabolizable energy, metabolizable protein, and feed intake for suckling, growing, mature, lactating, gestating, and Angora goats. Also in 2005, the interface of the calculators was unified into a single calculator with the English measurement system used. This will encourage the use of the calculators by American producers. The least-cost ration balancer was modified so that it incorporates the least-cost feed percentage into the diet. Also, calculators are equipped with printable version commands to obtain inputs and outputs in hard copy format. In 2007, the calculators were continued to be updated.
Langston University’s popular web-based nutrient calculator is now available for free on the iPad. To install this version, simply go the App Store and search for “Goat Nutrient Calculator”. Once installed on your iPad, you will be able to calculate the nutrient requirements for any goat in any age, breed or stage of production, as well as, calcium and phosphorus requirements.
The original web-based nutrient calculators were developed under a research project and were only accessible via the website (http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/research/nutreqgoats.html or http://goats.langston.edu/ Nutrient-Calculators). This iPad version is the first stand alone version of the calculators available.
The web-based version has a feed library and a least-cost ration balancer so that rations can be formulated to meet nutrient requirements. Currently, the iPad version does not have these attributes but it is planned to update this version with those capabilities with the next release.
For these calculators to be of value, they must be readily accessible and reasonably simple. It is hoped that this iPad version will enjoy widespread usage and enhance feeding practices for goats.
Tanning Goat Hides
People express interest in tanning skins for a variety of reasons. Some sheep and goat producers wish to tan skins of animals they raise. Other people are hunters who wish to tan deerskins. Reasons for this interest include: wanting to use as much of the animal as possible, disliking the waste of an animal’s skin; ownership of an exceptionally pretty goat that they wish to tan after harvest for home use; learn new skills; wish to use tanning skills on other mammals such as deer; wishing to learn “old-time” skills, and some producers see a source of potential income through tanning goat skins and selling handicrafts. Some attendees already tan skins but want to expand their knowledge. All of these producers wish to learn to tan skins. There is no other tanning skins course in the nearby area. Langston University instituted a tanning goat skins course that teaches tanning skills to persons wishing to tan skins as a hobby. The workshop uses readily available chemicals and all processes are done by hand. Thus, it is a low cost process that producers can try at home. The hands-on nature of the course whereby participants work with actual skins in most of the tanning steps ensures skill transfer. This format allows students to work with and learn from each other and receive practical knowledge of the tanning process that will help them when trying tanning skins at home. In 2017, one tanning goatskins workshop was held at Langston University in April.