Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Training on Preparing and Showing Meat Goats

This training has been designed for preparing Alabama youths (19 years and under) to compete in local and state-level meat-goat shows. Youth participation in goat shows can be rewarding in many ways, such as learning about goats and their care and management from the very early age, developing leadership and confidence while participating in the actual shows, and gaining show skills. This kind of involvement may even help these youths to choose their career in animal science, veterinary science, farming, or other animal-related occupations as they grow up. There are several aspects that youths and their parents/guardian must be familiar with to be able to successfully compete in goat shows and win. The purpose of this training is to teach the youths from Alabama and aware their parents on the major aspects of preparing and showing meat goats.

Major training topics

  • Preparation before goat procurement         
  • Show goat selection/procurement
  • Care and management of show goats
  • Training  and preparation of goats for the show
  • Attire and presentation at the show
  • Goat show events in Alabama

Hands-on and demonstration session

  • Training and positioning show goats
  • Health inspection of show goats (body condition score, hoof, teeth, anemia, body coat, external parasites, abscesses, and other abnormalities)
  • Hoof trimming, cleaning, and grooming
Supportive training topics (youths and their parents/guardian, youth coordinator)
  • Basic facilities for raising goats
  • Pasture development and grazing management
  • Common health problems and their management
  • Nutrition and feeding
  • Breed selection
  • Animal selection and breeding management
  • Care and management of newborn kids


Workshop venues and time are arranged based on the availability of youths, their parents or youth coordinator, and the trainer(s). Normally, the training starts in June and ends in October each year. However, training sessions can be conducted in other months as well should there be a demand.


Registration fee: None.

Contact for further information: Dr. Uma Karki - Email: karkiu@mytu.tuskegee.edu, Phone: (334)727-8336 (Office), or county agent(s) in your county.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuskegee University Youth Goat Show 2013

The Tuskegee University (TU) Prevet Club will hold an annual Open Meat-Goat Show at the Tuskegee University Caprine Research and Education Unit on October 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM.

The show is open to all youth exhibitors up to19 years of age who are residents of Alabama. Events include breeding classes, market classes, and showmanship.

Entry forms must be postmarked by October 14, 2013. Entry form and more information about the goat show can be accessed by clicking these links: Entry Form and Show Regulations

If you have any question, please contact:
Dr. Nar Gurung, TU Prevet Club Advisor at ngurung@mytu.tuskegee.edu. Or call him at 334-727-8457 (Office) or 334-421-8620 (Cell).

Need Pre-Show Training?
If you need pre-show training, please contact Dr. Uma Karki, Pre-Show (goat) Training Coordinator at karkiu@mytu.tuskegee.edu, 334-727-8336 (voice).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Goat Artificial Insemination Training at Tuskegee University, 2013

Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program and The Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University are providing a hands-on workshop entitled “Reproductive
Management and Artificial Insemination (AI) in Goats” at the Tuskegee University Caprine Research and Education Unit on Saturday, October 26, 2013, 9 AM - 4 PM.

More information including the registration form is available at this link: http://www.tuskegee.edu/academics/colleges/caens/artificial_insemination_workshop.aspx

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

National Goat Conference, 2013

The second National Goat Conference is scheduled for September 15-17, 2013 in Greensboro, NC, USA. Discounted rate for conference registration will end on August 2, 2013. It is a good event for goat producers and professionals to learn and network. Some registration scholarships are available to producers through the 1890 land grant universities. Please contact your local county agents or livestock/small ruminant specialist immediately at the 1890 institution in your state for further information and application process.

Abstract submission deadline for presenting poster at the conference is August 17, 2013. See Poster Guidelines for more information.

Conference information is available at this link: http://www.ncat.edu/academics/schools-colleges1/saes/cooperative-extension/goatconf.html


Monday, July 8, 2013

Preparation for Cool-Season Pasture Development


Winter peas and ryegrass mixed pasture
Developing cool-season pastures is crucial for sustainable pasture-based livestock production. This is because feeding costs account for more than 50 percent of the variable costs required for livestock operations. If no cool-season forages are included in pastures, there will not be much forage available for grazing from October to April (in the situation of most part of Alabama). This situation compels producers to procure hay, agricultural byproducts, or commercially prepared feeds to feed their livestock for around seven months each year, and sacrifice possible profits they would make otherwise (if there were productive, cool-season pastures and no requirements for buying feeds). It is always cheaper to develop a productive pastures and let the animals harvest by themselves than purchasing hay and other feedstuffs and manually feeding the animals.

Ryegrass and crimson clover mixed pasture

Important Steps for Developing Cool-Season Pastures

1. Soil test is necessary to know the requirements for lime and fertilizer applications. For fall planting, soil samples should be tested in June or earlier. For further detail about the soil test, contact your local county agents.

2. Weed control. Weeds should be controlled very well before applying lime or fertilizers and planting seeds. Further information about weed control is available at this link: https://wms.acesag.auburn.edu/accordent/default.asp, make sure to type 'weed' in the 'reset' button and search.

3. Apply lime based on soil test recommendations. Generally, lime has to be applied 3-6 months prior to scheduled planting date so that soil pH is adjusted by the time of planting.

4. Select forage species based on pasture soil, climatic condition of the location, and livestock species. Here are few examples of cool-season grasses: annual ryegrass, tall fescue (MaxQ tall fescue does not have toxic endophyte), orchard grass, small grains (wheat, oats, barley, triticale); cool-season legumes: white clover, crimson clover, red clover, arrowleaf clover, beseem clover, hairy vetch, common vetch, bigflower vetch, winter peas, alfalfa, and birdsfoot trefoil; cool-season forbs: chicory, brassica - rape, kale, and turnip. All legumes must be inoculated with specific inoculant just before planting while planting them in the new fields. If you need help on which forages to plant this season, please contact your local county agents, forage specialists, or livestock specialists.

5. Procure selected quality forage seed from the trusted source and fertilizers based on soil test recommendations.

6. Plant selected forages on time. Most of the winter forages are planted in September or early October. Apply phosphorus and potassium fertilizer (as recommended based on the soil test) few weeks before planting. Nitrogen fertilizer is needed only for non-leguminous crops (grasses). It should be applied in divided doses since it is the least stable fertilizer. Plants need nitrogen for photosynthesis and green leafy growth. So, its application is effective when grasses (not mixed with legumes) are in active vegetative growth (at the beginning and after each harvest).


Grazing Management

Follow an appropriate grazing management plan once the planted forages are well established.  It is very useful to attend 'Grazing Management Training' sessions, read relevant educational materials, and consult county agents and/or livestock specialists for developing a sustainable grazing management plan and implement it properly.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Workshop and Field Days

Upcoming Workshop and Field Days

Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program is conducting following field day and training workshop in the next month.

1. Year-round forage production and sustainable grazing management field day, Selma, AL - June 8, 2013 (9 am to 12 pm) - at Mr. Gregory Scott's farm

Ruminant livestock production in Alabama is based on pasture. Highly productive and quality pasture persisting throughout a year or most of the year is important for profitable livestock enterprises. Most of the livestock producers in Alabama have warm-season perennial pastures that produce from May to October and have negligible or no production from November to April, when farmers need to invest considerably on supplementary feedstuffs such as hay, agricultural byproducts, and commercially prepared feeds to sustain their livestock. Feeding supplement for 5-6 months each year is not cost-effective. The purpose of this field day is to educate and demonstrate Extension professionals and livestock producers on developing and managing year-round pasture system. This field day will be conducted on a goat producer’s farm, which has been involved in developing year-round pasture and managing the pasture with rotational grazing system. Participants will be able to see and experience how their livestock production system can be improved, and apply the similar system on their farms. For more information, read the program flyer and agenda. To participate in the program, please fill the registration form, and send back to us as suggested in the registration form immediately.  

THIS EVENT IS COMPLETED! For the field day highlight, visit this link: http://www.tuskegee.edu/sites/www/Uploads/files/About%20US/TUCEP/Workshops/SelmaFieldDayReport.pdf

2. Sustainable livestock production workshop, Union Springs, AL - June 27, 2013 (8:30 am to 4:30 pm) - Hands on portion will take place at Ms. Rosia Jernigan's farm

Ruminant livestock, especially beef cattle, production has been a major enterprise for many farmers in Alabama. Alabama has 1.23 million cattle and calves, which accounts for the second topmost farm commodity with cash receipts of $395.8 million. The 2007 Agriculture Census data shows that 76 percent of the cattle producers are small scale producers with a herd size of less than 50. There are many avenues that need improvement (such as pasture and grazing system, supplementary feeding, routine health care and management, and breeding) in the existing livestock production system for the producers to be able to get benefit from their operations. The purpose of this workshop is to educate and train field-level Extension professionals and livestock producers on different aspects of sustainable livestock production system, especially focusing on a cow-calf operation. Please read the program flyer and agenda for more information. To participate in the program, fill and return the registration form along with the registration fee to the address given in the registration form on time.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management Training

Training For Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management in the Southern Region

Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program in collaboration with other land grant universities (Auburn, Langston, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M), Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PadmaDal Memorial Foundation conducted a 3-day training program (March 26-28, 2013) – Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management for field agricultural professionals, who are working with goat producers in the Southern Region. This training was funded by Southern SARE. Training was conducted from March 26-28, 2013; March 25 and 29 were the travel dates for those who were coming a long way to Tuskegee.  More information is available in the Program Flyer


Friday, February 1, 2013

Kidding Season - Tips to Minimize Kid Mortality


A high survival of newborns is very crucial to be successful in goat business and other livestock enterprises. As goats are seasonal breeders, most goats are bred in fall with the beginning of shorter day length unless the natural breeding is hormonally manipulated. In most part of the country, September and October are the months for natural goat breeding. This breeding season results in winter kidding - mostly in January and February, when cold weather and poor nutrition pose challenges to majority of goat farmers.  Newborn kids are most vulnerable to the adverse climatic conditions. As a result, a high mortality can occur if proper care is not taken. Following are few tips to minimize kid mortality and increase profits.

Figure 1. Newborn kids suckling colostrum.

Tips to Minimize Kid Mortality

  • Minimize the chance of injury and infection – Keep the pregnant does in a separate clean shed or new pasture around the kidding date so that the chance of injury and infection is minimized.
  • Make sure does with newborn kids have access to a good shelter to get protection from inclement weather conditions.
  • Be prepared with necessary materials and supplies, and also to help kids at kidding     

    • Necessary materials and supplies – Feeding bottle, supplementary colostrum, heating lamp, towel or rag, soap, water, lubricants, gloves
    • Be prepared to help kids – Trim nails and clean hands with soap and water; use gloves before touching kids or does. 
  • Make sure newborns are breathing – Remove any material from around the mouth and nose to clear the airways, and clean and dry newborn with clean towel or rag.
  • Keep the newborns warm and dry - Provide clean, dry, and soft bedding. When the bedding gets wet, change it or add more bedding. If it is very cold, wrap kids with warm towel or rag. If kids are in a pen, heating lamp can be used to increase the temperature.
  • Spray tincture of iodine (7%) on and around the navel - It will minimize the chance of naval infection and related complications.
  • Do not take the kids away from does - While cleaning, drying, and performing other activities with the newborns, keep the newborns close to their mothers – it is extremely important to develop maternal bonding.
  • Help the weak newborns stand up and suckle - It is crucial that newborns suckle and ingest enough colostrum soon after birth (Fig. 1). If the newborn is weak and/or the mother is not very much interested in her newborn(s), which may be a sign that help is needed for subsequent suckling as well. Feeding enough colostrum soon after birth is very important for kid survival and growth.
  • Bottle feed colostrum to kids if does are not producing enough or suckling is hindered - If kids are not able to stand up and suckle, the does should be milked and fed to the kids. Give only a small amount at a time based on kids’ appetite. Colostrum feeding must start soon after kids are born (within half an hour or so) and feeding should be repeated 4 to 5 times a day. Kids will get enough immunoglobulins if 140 – 175 g colostrum per kg of live weight is fed within 24 hours of birth. Overfeeding should be avoided because it may upset kids’ digestive system. For more information, click this link - colostrum feeding.
  • Keep the premises clean, dry, well-lighted, and ventilated - This will minimize the chance of infections (such as pneumonia, coccidiosis, and colibacillosis – these are very common in the newborns) because clean, ventilated, and well lit environment is detrimental to disease causing organisms. Also, animals will be comfortable and less stressed under such conditions.
  • Provide enough nutrients to does – Nutrient and water requirements of does dramatically increase with the initiation of lactation. Supplementary feeding during last two to three weeks of pregnancy and first four weeks of lactation may be beneficial if they are being raised on poor pastures or low quality feed. 
    Figure 2. A doe with mastitis that
    developed after her kids were dead.
  •  Keep close eye on teats and udder of does for mastitis – Mastitis (Fig. 2) may easily develop if the does are kept in filthy environment. The chance of mastitis development is very high if a doe loses her kid(s) and she is left without being milked. Any mastitis case should be treated immediately by consulting a veterinarian. For more information about care of newborn kids and does, click this link Newborn Care.
  • Make sure premises are safe from predators – Make sure the facility is well fenced to prevent the access of any predators. Also, provision of guard dogs along with a close supervision of the herd will be very useful. 
  • Winter Pastures - Development of winter pastures (Fig. 3) can be very useful to provide enough quality feed to does in late pregnancy and early lactation so that she can produce adequate colostrum and milk for healthy newborns.
Figure 3. Marshal ryegrass-crimson clover pastures ready for grazing, Jan. 2013, Phenix City, Alabama.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Goat and Sheep Markets in Alabama

Clay County Goat and Poutry Acution

748 County Road 91
Goodwater, AL
(256) 839-6824 
1st Sat. Horse sale 5:00 pm
2nd & amp;4th sat. goats sheep, pigs & amp; cows @12:00 noon
3rd Sat. @12:00 noon misc. whatever they bring.
Small animal & amp; chicken sale every Friday @7:00 Pm. 

Escambia County Coop., Brewton

325 Ag Science Dr
Brewton, AL 36426
(251) 867-5111 
Animal  sale: Goat and sheep
Sale day: Saturdays

Southern Star Stockyard, Elgin

(256) 247-5189
Animal sale: Goat and sheep
Sale day: Second Friday night

Central Alabama Goat and Poultry Auction

1403 Kincheon Rd,
Clanton, AL 35045
(205) 280-4628
Animal sale: Sheep, goat, and poultry
Sale day: Thursday morning

Cullman Stockyard

75 County Road 1339
Cullman, AL 35058
(256) 734-4531
Animal sale: Goat, sheep, cattle
Sale day: Thursdays

East Alabama Goat and Poultry Auction

1006 County Road 474
Woodland, Alabama 36280
(256) 419-8527
Animal sale: Goats, swine, sheep, cattle
Sale day: First and third Saturdays
Sale time: Sale starts at noon
Note: Make sure to call the Auction or Stockyard you are interested in and find necessary information to satisfy yourself before hauling your animals.