Getting Started in the 4-H Meat Goat Project

Selection

These are typically what judges base their rankings upon. The winning goat will have the right amount of each category mentioned above. The most important area is structure and soundness in the beginning because this will allow the rest to work its place in with the right feeding techniques and exercise routine.

Structure and Soundness

Consider:

Feet and Toes  

Big feet/
Even Toes

Good

Feet turned out/
Uneven Toes

Bad


Pasterns
 

Strong Pasterns
Good

Weak Pasterns
Bad


Knees
 

Straight Knee
Good

Buck-Kneed
Bad


Hocks
 

Nice set to hocks
Good

Too much set to hocks
Bad


Levelness of Top
 

Level Topped
Good

Weak Topped
Bad

If your goat is lacking any of these areas shown above it will affect the goat's future performance and longevity.

Degree of Muscling

Consider:

Center Leg Width  

Wide/
Thick Muscled
Good

Narrow/
Thin Muscled
Bad


Width of Loin
 

Wide and
Flat Over Top
Good

Narrow and
Steep Over Top
Bad

Length of Loin

Capacity

Consider:

This is a major difference between wethers and breeding stock. It is important for your breeding stock to have a large capacity in order to produce young properly. It is also important in wethers to have adequate capacity for feed conversion.

Body Width  

Wide Based
(Open-Ribbed)
Good

Narrow Width
(Flat-Ribbed)
Bad  


Body Depth
 

Deep Bodied
Good

Shallow Bodied
Bad


Body Length
 

Long Bodied
Good

Short Bodied
Bad

Balance

Narrow Based

Short and Shallow Bodied

*Unbalanced
Bad
     

Wide Based

Excellent Depth and Length of Body

Good

Style

Very Good Style Goat:

 

Degree of Finish

This is a common when the goats are past their prime or have had health issues. Also, many owners try to maintain their goat's prime weight by not allowing them to consume the proper diet; in result to this many goats come out appearing rung out.

This is the look desired to have when exhibiting your goat. This goat appears to have the 12 o'clock look, as it appears youthful and healthy.

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