20 Sep Preparing Goats for the Perth Royal Part 1
The Dairy Goat Edition
with Tahlia baxter from Diego Valley Miniature Goat Stud
I have been competing at the Perth Royal Show since I was 5 years of old riding ponies and horses in hacking and showjumping classes. This year will be my first appearance representing my stud Diego Valley with Nigerian Dwarfs at the Perth Royal Show.
Having been to Wanneroo and Gidge Agricultural show with my goats, the Perth Royal is a little different and preparation begins weeks before the show days.
Coming to the show this year will be Sapphire, rising 3yo 50% Nigerian Dwarf alongside her triplets Blueberry, Bluebell & Jive (62.5% Nigerian Dwarf). Also coming along will be 9 month old 25% Nigerian Dwarf, Bambi.
Four weeks before the royal
`I have entered Sapphire’s kids for their debut at the Perth Royal. Adult classes entries close 6 weeks prior to the show. Having a different close date for kids allows goat breeders to show their August born kids. This allows me to showcase Blueberry, Bluebell & Jive born on the 11th of August.
To show dairy goats at any show I have to have my herd tested for CAE (Caprine arthritis encephalitis). I get the vet out to take blood samples from each goat in the herd. All the goats were all very well behaved other than wanting to eat the vet’s shoelaces. Bloodwork is then sent to the labs at DPIRD (Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development) and returns a negative result. Results are then sent in to the Perth Royal.
As a reputable breeder I test the whole herd for CAE annually. This not only allows you to take your goats to shows but it also makes sure your herd is negative for the virus. It is a costly expense but testing and having negative results outweigh having the virus within your herd or spreading. Goats are tested from 6 months of age. Goats under 6 months need to have both parents tested.
Three weeks before the royal
Its clipping time!
To prepare for clipping the goats, I wash Sapphire and Bambi with Hoss Gloss and make sure to get as much dirt from their coats out so the clippers can glide through.
Only mature goats over 6 months of age are clipped. Being a competitive showjumper and having clipped my horses every year, this was my first time clipping my own goats. It was fiddly, and after a few clipper malfunctions, Sapphire and Bambi are clipped, looking their best!
I have clipped Sapphire and Bambi 3 weeks prior to allow their coats to come though to look their best in the show ring and any lines from clipping to even out. Clipping allows the judge to see their conformation and makes the goats look much more presentable.
After I have finished clipping, I again wash them in hoss gloss to get any oil left on their coats from the clippers and loose hairs so they won’t be itchy. Now its time for the rugs!
They have their rugs on at night to keep them warm and if it’s a nice, sunny day rugs off during the day.
I also increase their muesli and pellets, especially lactating does like Sapphire as she is producing milk for her triplets.
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