On Monday we had our herd of goats linear appraised. Linear appraisal is when an official from the American Dairy Goat Association comes out and assesses your herd for their conformation. The goat gets a score on how well they conform to the "ideal" goat. Each identifiable trait is rated on a scale and then their total score is determined. For our herd we were expecting that scores in the 90's would be non-existent, two or three would be in the 80's and that the rest would be in the 70's.
Our herd did about what we expected with some of them doing better than we expected. Interestingly, some of our goats had been linear appraised last year and their scores this year were significantly lower. One goat dropped from a score of 83 last year, down to a 76 for this year!
Our yearling from Minnesota scored a 74, but as a yearling she still has a lot of growing left to do and so we hope in two years (when we appraise again) her scores will have improved. Our buckling from California wasn't able to be appraised as we haven't received his registration papers yet. The appraiser did take a quick look at him for us and was very happy with what he saw. The appraiser felt that even as a very young buckling he appears to have everything our herd needs to improve.
We didn't appraise the babies that were born this year. We are going to see how they place at the ADGA shows we are going to this year. We will use that information as a guide to determine who needs to be kept and if we do any repeat breedings this fall.
It was a fun afternoon and I learned several new things about parts on a goat and what is desirable. I also learned that eight goats in the back of the van doesn't work very well for transporting.