Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Perfect Goat

This is Gloria. She is my herd matriarch. She is nine years old this spring. In this picture (taken yesterday) she is 4 months pregnant. Let's talk about her.

Good points: I love her wedge shape and large barrel belly. She has a very "dairy" look because of this. This shape points to her amazing ability to produce about 2 gallons of milk per day in the middle of her lactations. She's very efficient at turning feed into milk. Her large udder is well-attached in the rear and front. I like her straight topline and the slope of her rump. It's not to steep or too flat for my taste. Her back legs are well-positioned under her hip. Her neck is straight and smooth.

Bad points: Her front and back feet are low in the pasterns. I know from trimming her hooves that her back hooves are a mess. They are very thin across and tend to curl under one another. This trait is highly genetic because all of her kids have the same problem. Her front hooves are good-sized and very wide. Her front legs are straight. Her back legs are a little hock-kneed. I would love to push her front legs forward and get them under her front shoulder more. She has a lot of brisket sticking out. She could be a little less U-necked for me. Due to her large milk production her udder is not very pretty. Her teats are large and not well defined from the udder cavity. They hang down very low to the ground and get lower every year. Her teat orifices are small and hard to milk. I suppose this is a good thing because with this large an udder, loose teat orifices could mean lots of leakage.

Even though I can point out things I would change on her, I love her the most! She makes up for her physical deficiencies with a calm personality that passes to each of her kids. Not much makes her upset and she never has a bad day or is grumpy.

She is the perfect goat for me!

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