As part of the Expo there were a number of demonstrations and clinics being carried out each day. FAMACHA (FAffa MAlan CHArt) is a diagnostic tool to help farmers diagnose parasite infection in small ruminants. The tool is a chart that matches eyelid colour to anemia levels, an indicator of parasite infection. Dr. Steve Hart of +Langston University provided training and certification on this as part of the seminar series. Dr. Donald Bliss of Mid America Ag Research, in conjunction with his seminar on parasites, provided a faecal clinic with faecal counts being done on goats present at the show.
One of the seminars I wasn’t able to attend was regarding LGD’s. At first I had no idea what LGD’s were but I discovered they were Livestock Guardian Dogs. These dogs protect the goats from predators and are basically full members of the herd. They are introduced to the goats at just a few weeks of age so that the ‘imprint’ on the animals and the urge to protect is therefore instinctive. Despite their size they tend to be gentle and are often protective of children.
On the final morning Crede Garriott gave two comprehensive ‘Boer Fitting Clinics’ on how to prepare your goats for the show ring. Over the course of the demonstration he outlined the many points to consider during preparation for a show, what judges will be looking for and demonstrated no end of skill in his work.
There were a number of commercial stands present at the Expo. Some were specifically aimed at goat farmers with a wide array of products for practical use. Others were laden with many different products demonstrating the versatility of goats for any size holding.
The full report contains many more details and photos and is available on the Publications section of the Teagasc Goat Page.