Linear Appraisal

The information listed below is credited to the American Dairy Goat Association and their Linear Appraisal System Guide Book.

ADGA's Linear Appraisal Program

Introduction

Dairy goat breeders who use the American Dairy Goat Association’s linear appraisal and production testing programs recognize the value of using the information provided by these animal evaluation programs as guidance in making management decisions that involve the selection of sires used in their breeding program. These management decisions influence the structural correctness and genetic potential of individual animals, which determines their lifetime in the herd and their overall production level.

 

Understanding how the condition of type traits affects the structural durability and the reproductive and production efficiency of an animal is critical to effective herd management. The goal of ADGA’s linear appraisal system is to provide dairy goat breeders with an increased awareness of proven sires that transmit strong traits to their offspring. Identification of the strengths and weaknesses of individual does and the availability of sire summary information based on linear data can be used together to determine desirable matings in a herd.

 

This booklet serves as guide to ADGA’s linear appraisal system. It contains:

              A general description of the linear appraisal system.

              A description of the primary and secondary traits included in the linear appraisal system, along with explanatory                    drawings that highlight the biological extremes of each trait and the intermediate condition.

              A sample copy of the appraiser’s report form, including the evaluation scale for each primary and secondary                              linear trait.

              A discussion of the evaluation of the eight general structural and functional areas and the notation of remarks                         and defects.

             A discussion of the evaluation of the four major categories (general appearance, dairy strength, body capacity,                         and mammary system) and the determination of the final score.

             Information on preparing for a herd linear appraisal.

Linear Appraisal

ADGA recognizes the need for a linear appraisal system that evaluates individual type traits that affect structural and functional durability in order to take full advantage of the potential for genetic improvement through selection. ADGA’s linear system: Evaluates each trait individually, rather than as part of a group of traits. Evaluates each trait from one observed biological extreme to the other. Includes traits that have economic importance and are at least moderately heritable. Provides a system of evaluation that can be applied uniformly on a scale of 1 to 50 points (a 50-point range has been shown to distinguish differences in body measurements with acceptable accuracy). The linear appraisal system includes 13 primary traits and 1 secondary trait that are used by the appraiser to evaluate functional conformation. To these linear traits have been added eight structural and functional areas (head, shoulder assembly, front legs, back legs, feet, back, rump, and udder texture) that are evaluated by the appraiser as Excellent, Very Good, Good Plus, Acceptable, Fair or Poor along with Teat Length which is evaluated as a potential linear trait. The appraisal system also includes room for the appraiser to note up to three remarks and/or defects. The last part of the linear appraisal system is an evaluation of the animal in the four major categories (three for bucks) and the determination of a final score for the animal. Only the linear trait scores and the animal’s final score are part of the computerized linear appraisal data base used to develop sire summaries; the other information is included to provide the herd owner with additional information about the individual animals that are appraised. Dairy goat herds evaluated with the linear appraisal system will be instrumental in helping develop the data base needed to determine the heritability of structural traits in dairy goats and, eventually, their relationship to longevity and production.

Primary and Secondary Traits

The term “linear” in a linear appraisal system refers to the fact that traits are rated on a linear scale that goes from one biological extreme for that trait to the other. Scores for each primary and secondary trait are assigned by the appraiser within the 50-point range that represents the biological range for the trait. Evaluation of linear traits is, except during training or in situations where verification is desired, based on observations by trained appraisers, rather than on actual measurements for each trait. As is true with dairy cattle linear systems, experienced appraisers achieve equal or greater accuracy and consistency while evaluation linear traits much more rapidly and less expensively using techniques based on observation compare to making actual measurements for every trait. The biggest problem associated with making actual measurements is the difficulty in trying to restrain an animal in a natural position long enough to make an accurate measurement, especially when the differences being measured are small. The following guidance is provided to help the herd owner understand the evaluation system for the 13 primary traits, and one secondary trait that are included in the linear appraisal system. The appraiser evaluates these traits without regard for age, management, or environment, or stage of lactation. The primary traits are traits that are believed to have economic importance and enough variation to provide a basis for selection when the data is summarized by sire. The secondary trait has been included in order to gather research data for further evaluation of the trait’s economic and genetic importance. Three general criteria were used in the selection of the linear traits to be included in ADGA’s linear appraisal system. 1 – The trait must have some economic value, either in terms of increased longevity, which reduces culling rate, or increased production. 2 – The trait must be heritable (genetically-controlled) enough so that progress or improvement can be made at an acceptable rate through the selection of sires. Traits that are not at least moderately heritable are more effectively handled through herd management practices (such as culling) and are no suitable for inclusion in a linear appraisal system. Generally, heritability of .15 or higher is accepted as indicating at least moderate heritability of a trait. The heritability information that is available on dairy goats pertains mostly to production factors. Very little information exists on the heritability of structural traits in dairy goats. The heritabilities used in the selection of traits for ADGA’s linear appraisal system were based on 4 years of dairy cattle linear data. Although the absolute heritability of traits is not known or expected to be the same for dairy cattle and dairy goats, the relative indications of heritability of the various traits of interest should be similar. One of the potential benefits of ADGA’s linear appraisal system is the determination of the actual heritabilities of type traits for dairy goats when sufficient data has been gathered to perform the calculations. 3 – It must be possible to assign a value to the trait with acceptable repeatability among appraisers. This means that it must be possible to define the trait and all its components and the associated evaluation criteria precisely enough that the trait can be evaluated by appraisers with acceptable repeatability.

Primary and Secondary Traits

The term “linear” in a linear appraisal system refers to the fact that traits are rated on a linear scale that goes from one biological extreme for that trait to the other. Scores for each primary and secondary trait are assigned by the appraiser within the 50-point range that represents the biological range for the trait. Evaluation of linear traits is, except during training or in situations where verification is desired, based on observations by trained appraisers, rather than on actual measurements for each trait. As is true with dairy cattle linear systems, experienced appraisers achieve equal or greater accuracy and consistency while evaluation linear traits much more rapidly and less expensively using techniques based on observation compare to making actual measurements for every trait. The biggest problem associated with making actual measurements is the difficulty in trying to restrain an animal in a natural position long enough to make an accurate measurement, especially when the differences being measured are small. The following guidance is provided to help the herd owner understand the evaluation system for the 13 primary traits, and one secondary trait that are included in the linear appraisal system. The appraiser evaluates these traits without regard for age, management, or environment, or stage of lactation. The primary traits are traits that are believed to have economic importance and enough variation to provide a basis for selection when the data is summarized by sire. The secondary trait has been included in order to gather research data for further evaluation of the trait’s economic and genetic importance. Three general criteria were used in the selection of the linear traits to be included in ADGA’s linear appraisal system. 1 – The trait must have some economic value, either in terms of increased longevity, which reduces culling rate, or increased production. 2 – The trait must be heritable (genetically-controlled) enough so that progress or improvement can be made at an acceptable rate through the selection of sires. Traits that are not at least moderately heritable are more effectively handled through herd management practices (such as culling) and are no suitable for inclusion in a linear appraisal system. Generally, heritability of .15 or higher is accepted as indicating at least moderate heritability of a trait. The heritability information that is available on dairy goats pertains mostly to production factors. Very little information exists on the heritability of structural traits in dairy goats. The heritabilities used in the selection of traits for ADGA’s linear appraisal system were based on 4 years of dairy cattle linear data. Although the absolute heritability of traits is not known or expected to be the same for dairy cattle and dairy goats, the relative indications of heritability of the various traits of interest should be similar. One of the potential benefits of ADGA’s linear appraisal system is the determination of the actual heritabilities of type traits for dairy goats when sufficient data has been gathered to perform the calculations. 3 – It must be possible to assign a value to the trait with acceptable repeatability among appraisers. This means that it must be possible to define the trait and all its components and the associated evaluation criteria precisely enough that the trait can be evaluated by appraisers with acceptable repeatability.

Primary Trait:

Form – Stature

The appraiser’s evaluation of stature is based on the distance from level ground to the top of the withers. Goats 26” or less are considered extremely short and assigned five points or less. Goats that are 30” tall are considered intermediate in stature and assigned 25 points, while goats at least 34” tall are considered extremely tall and assigned 45 or more points. For each 1” difference in height, plus or minus, the point assignment changes by five. Stature in Miniature breeds is recorded in inches to the nearest ¼ inch as data is collected to determine the biological range. Stature in the Optional Young Stock program will be recorded in actual inches, rather than assigning a point value.

Form – Strength

The width and depth of the chest, the width of the muzzle, and the substance of bone in the goat’s front end are used to determine the strength of the goat. The range for this trait is from extremely narrow and frail to extremely wide and strong. Width and strength is associated with the likelihood the goat can sustain high production and good general health. Strength is measured from weakness (less than 20 points) to strength (more than 30 points). The intermediate range is from 20 to 30 points.

Strength

5- Extremely narrow and frail

15- Narrow and frail

25- Intermediate width and strength

35- Very wide and strong 

45- Extremely wide and strong

Form – Dairyness

When evaluating Dairyness, the appraiser considers length, cleanness and flatness of bone, length and leanness of neck, definition and sharpness of withers, degree of fleshing, femininity and refinement, and fineness and texture of skin. Dairyness is measured from coarseness (which is assigned 10 points or less) to extreme sharpness (which is assigned 40 or more points).

Dairyness

5- Extremely thick and coarse; extremely round bone

15- Thick and coarse; round bone

25- Intermediate angularity and flatness of bone

35- Sharp and angular; clean, flat bone

45- Extremely sharp and angular; extremely clean, flat bone

Structure – Rump Angle

The angle of the rump or pelvis from hips to pins has a direct bearing on the reproductive performance of a goat because it influences the ease of kidding and drainage of the reproductive tract. The angle of the rump is also related to the length of udder from fore to rear, strength of fore udder attachment, and udder depth. Observing the goat on the move from the side, the appraiser evaluates the angle of the rump from the hips to the pins. Rump angle is measured from steepness, which is assigned 20 or less points, to levelness, which is assigned 30 or more points. Rumps intermediate in slope (30° to 20°) are assigned 20 to 30 points. Each difference of 5° in the rump angle, plus or minus, results in a difference in the score of 5 points. A rump angle of 50° or more is assigned 1 point.

Rump Angle

5- Extremely steep from hips to pins

15- Considerable slope from hips to pins

25- Moderate slope from hips to pins

35- Nearly level from hips to pins

45- Extremely level from hips to pins

Structure – Rump Width

The width of the rump is important for three reasons. The width of the rump relates to kidding ease; the wider the rump or pelvis, the easier the delivery of kids. The width of the rump also is an indicator of general body width throughout, as well as the potential for udder width. Rump width is determined as the width between the thurls; that is, the width of the pelvic girdle. An extremely narrow rump (5” or less) is assigned 5 points or less, a rump of intermediate width (7”) is assigned 25 points, and an extremely wide rump (9” or more) is assigned 45 or more points. Rump Width in Miniature breeds is recorded in inches to the nearest ¼ inch as data is collected to determine the biological range. Rump Width in the Optional Young Stock program will be recorded in actual inches, rather than assigning a point value. The appraiser determines the width of the pelvic region from thurl to thurl. Each 1’ difference in rump width, plus or minus, results in a difference in the score of 10 points.

Rump Width

5- Extremely narrow through pelvic area

15- Narrow through pelvic area

25- Intermediate width through pelvic area

35- Wide through pelvic area

45- Extremely wide through pelvic area

Structure – Rear legs, side view

This trait relates to the durability of the legs and feet, as reflected by the degree of angle of the hock. By looking at the goat from the side, the appraiser can evaluate the degree of angle to the rear leg. The less angle or postier the leg, the lower the score. An intermediate angle in the hock relates to the midpoint of the range. Legs that tend toward straightness (or postiness) are assigned 20 or less points. Legs that tend toward greater angulation are assigned 30 or more points.

Rear Legs, Side View

5- Straight-legged (posty) in hock

15- Nearly straight (posty) in hock

25- Intermediate angle to hock

35- Considerably angled (sickled) in hock

45- Extremely angled (sickled) in hock

Mammary – Fore Udder Attachment

In evaluating the fore udder attachment, the appraiser looks at the strength of the attachment of the lateral ligaments as they extend forward and laterally to the body wall. The scale ranges from an extremely loose attachment (5 points or less) to an extremely snug and strong attachment. Fore udders with lateral ligaments that are intermediate in strength and tightness are assigned 25 points.

Fore Udder Attachment

5- Extremely loose attachment

15- Loose attachment

25- Intermediate strength of attachment

35- Strong attachment

45- Extremely snug and strong attachment

Mammary – Rear Udder Height

The height of the rear udder attachment is an indication of the goat’s potential capacity for milk, in that it affects udder capacity, and of the udder’s ability to hold its shape and position through repeated lactations. Rear udder height is scored in proportion to the goat. An extremely low attachment is assigned 5 or less points; udder attachments of intermediate heights are assigned 25 points; while an extremely high attachment is assigned 45 or more points. Differences in hair and issue texture between the rear udder and escutcheon are used as aids in determining the point of attachment. This trait is not recorded in bucks. This trait is called “Escutcheon Height” in the Optional Young Stock program, and will be recorded in actual inches rather than a point value.

Rear Udder Height

5- Extremely low

15- Low

25- Intermediate height

35- High

45- Extremely high

Mammary – Rear Udder Arch

The evaluation of rear udder arch considers both the width and the shape of the attachment of the rear udder. The rear udder arch is an indication of the goat’s potential capacity for milk, in that the width and shape of the rear udder attachment affects udder capacity, and the udder’s ability to hold its shape and position through repeated lactations. An extremely narrow and pointed rear udder arch is assigned 5 or less points, a rear udder intermediate in width and arch is assigned 25 points, and a rear udder that is extremely wide and arched assigned 45 or more points. Rear udder arch is evaluated at the same spot as rear udder height. Differences in hair and skin texture between the udder and the escutcheon are used to determine the point of attachment. This trait is called Escutcheon Arch in the Optional Young Stock program.

Rear Udder Arch

5- Extremely narrow and pointed arch

15- Narrow and pointed arch

25- Intermediate width and curve to arch

35- Wide and curving arch

45- Extremely wide and curving arch

Mammary – Medial Suspensory Ligament

The medial suspensory ligament is the primary support for the udder. A strong medial suspensory ligament affects the goat’s production potential by keeping the teats in place and the udder elevated, reducing the potential for injury. An udder with a weak medial suspensory ligament, resulting in a negative cleft or bulge in the floor of the udder, is assigned 5 or less points. An udder with clearly define halving and support (1” cleft) is assigned 25 points, and an udder with an extreme cleft (3” or more) is assigned 45 or more points. The assignment of an udder support score is based on the appraiser’s evaluation of the amount of cleft in the floor of the udder attributable to the medial suspensory ligament. A difference of 1” in the amount of cleft, plus or minus, results in a difference of 10 points.

Mammary – Udder Depth

Medial Suspensory Ligament

5- Bulging udder floor, negative cleft

15- Flat udder floor, lack clear halving; little or no cleft

25- Clearly defined halving, clean and support

35- Deep cleft

45- Extreme cleft

The depth of the udder is measure relative to the hocks. While some degree of udder depth is necessary for capacity, an udder that is extremely deep is more susceptible to injury and mastitis infection. Udder depth is evaluated as the vertical distance between the floor of the udder and the point of the hock, when the rear leg is set in a normal position under the animal. A deep udder that is at least 2” below the hocks is assigned 5 or less points, an udder that is intermediate in depth (2” above the hocks) is assigned 25 points, and a shallow udder that is extremely high above the hocks (6” or more) is assigned 45 or more points. An udder that is 3” or more below the hock is assigned 1 point. Proportional adjustment is made for miniature breeds.

Mammary – Teat Placement, Rear View

Udder Depth

5- Udder floor well below hocks; pendulous udder

15- Udder floor below point of hock

20- Udder floor at point of hock

25- Udder floor above hock

35- Udder floor well above hock

45- Udder floor extremely high above hock; shallow udder

Teat placement, as viewed from the rear, is related to both ease of milking and susceptibility to injury. Teat placement is measured from being on the outside third of the udder half (less than 25 points) to being less than two-thirds of the way out (more than 25 points). Teats that are located one-third of the way out on the udder half are assigned 45 points; teats that are less than one-third of the way out are assigned more than 45 points. Position is determined by the center of the teat at the point where the teat attaches to the udder.

Teat Placement, Rear View

5- Extremely wide placement on outside of udder half

15- Placement on outside of udder half

25- Placement 2/3 of way out on udder half

35- Placement midway between 1/3 and 2/3 of way out

45- Placement 1/3 of way out on udder half

Mammary – Teat Diameter

Teat diameter is evaluated as the diameter of the teat at its base where it meets the udder, as viewed from the rear. Both delineation of the teat from the udder and ease of milking are reflected in the evaluation of teat diameter. A very narrow teat, ½” or less in diameter, is assigned 5 or less points; a teat that is intermediate in diameter (1-1/2”) is assigned 25 points; and a teat that is very wider (2-1/2”) or more in diameter, is assigned 45 or more points. A difference of ½” in teat diameter, plus or minus, results in a difference of 10 points.

Teat Diameter

5- Extremely narrow teat

15- Narrow teat

25- Intermediate teat diameter

35- Wide teat

45- Extremely wide teat

Secondary Trait:

Mammary – Rear udder, Side View

Rear udder, side view, is evaluated as the shape of the rear udder as it extends behind the rear leg when a goat is standing with her rear legs squarely beneath her. The shape of the rear udder from the teats to the rear udder attachment is an indication of the capacity of the rear udder for milk. Extremely flat rear udders, with little capacity, are assigned 5 or less points; rear udders with intermediate fullness are assigned 25 points; and rear udders that are extremely bulgy or protruding are assigned 45 or more points.

Rear Udder, Side View

5- Extremely flat, lacks capacity

15- Flat

25- Intermediate in fullness

35- Rounded

45- Extremely rounded, bulging or protruding

APPRAISER’S REPORT FORM

Rear udder, side view, is evaluated as the shape of the rear udder as it extends behind the rear leg when a goat is standing with her rear legs squarely beneath her. The shape of the rear udder from the teats to the rear udder attachment is an indication of the capacity oThe appraiser’s report form, which is completed by the appraiser during his or her evaluation of a herd looks much like the final report the herdowner gets. Once a herd evaluation has been completed, the report form is signed by the appraiser. One copy of the report form is left with the herd owner, and one copy is mailed by the appraiser to the ADGA office for processing and entry into the computer data base. An official copy of the report form is sent to the herd owner by the ADGA office after data entry has been completed.

The columns on the left side of the report from contain the animal identification information: registration number, name, tattoo, sex, and date of birth. The next set of columns contains the scores for the 13 primary linear traits and the one secondary linear trait.

The following set of columns provides the appraisers with the opportunity to indicate, for eight structural and functional areas, where the animal is Excellent, Very Good, Good Plus, Acceptable, Fair, or Poor. The next three columns are used by the appraiser to note up to two remarks and/or defects. Remarks describe status conditions for the animal that are significant, such as dry or springing, while the defects identify structural problems which inhibit function.  The columns on the far right side of the report form are used by the appraiser to record his or her evaluation of the major categories (general appearance, dairy strength, body capacity, and mammary system) and the final score for the animal.

 

The linear scales for the primary and secondary traits, a listing of the eight structural and functional areas, a listing of the remarks and defects, and the breakdown for the major categories and final score, which appear on the back of the report form, follow. Permanent scores appear below the score of the day.f the rear udder for milk. Extremely flat rear udders, with little capacity, are assigned 5 or less points; rear udders with intermediate fullness are assigned 25 points; and rear udders that are extremely bulgy or protruding are assigned 45 or more points.

DESCRIPTION OF TRAITS AND MEASUREMENTS

LINEAR TRAITS:

FORM:

Stature 

5- Extremely short

15- Short

25- Intermediate

35- Tall

45- Extremely tall

Strength

5- Extremely narrow and frail

15- Narrow and frail

25- Intermediate width and strength

35- Very wide and strong 

45- Extremely wide and strong

Dairyness

5- Extremely thick and coarse; extremely round bone

15- Thick and coarse; round bone

25- Intermediate angularity and flatness of bone

35- Sharp and angular; clean, flat bone

45- Extremely sharp and angular; extremely clean, flat bone

STRUCTURE:

Rump Angle

5- Extremely steep from hips to pins

15- Considerable slope from hips to pins

25- Moderate slope from hips to pins

35- Nearly level from hips to pins

45- Extremely level from hips to pins

Rump Width

5- Extremely narrow through pelvic area

15- Narrow through pelvic area

25- Intermediate width through pelvic area

35- Wide through pelvic area

45- Extremely wide through pelvic area

Rear Legs, Side View

5- Straight-legged (posty) in hock

15- Nearly straight (posty) in hock

25- Intermediate angle to hock

35- Considerably angled (sickled) in hock

45- Extremely angled (sickled) in hock

MAMMARY:

Fore Udder Attachment

5- Extremely loose attachment

15- Loose attachment

25- Intermediate strength of attachment

35- Strong attachment

45- Extremely snug and strong attachment

Rear Udder Arch

5- Extremely narrow and pointed arch

15- Narrow and pointed arch

25- Intermediate width and curve to arch

35- Wide and curving arch

45- Extremely wide and curving arch

Rear Udder Height

5- Extremely low

15- Low

25- Intermediate height

35- High

45- Extremely high

Teat Placement, Rear View

5- Extremely wide placement on outside of udder half

15- Placement on outside of udder half

25- Placement 2/3 of way out on udder half

35- Placement midway between 1/3 and 2/3 of way out

45- Placement 1/3 of way out on udder half

Teat Diameter

5- Extremely narrow teat

15- Narrow teat

25- Intermediate teat diameter

35- Wide teat

45- Extremely wide teat

Medial Suspensory Ligament

5- Bulging udder floor, negative cleft

15- Flat udder floor, lack clear halving; little or no cleft

25- Clearly defined halving, clean and support

35- Deep cleft

45- Extreme cleft

Udder Depth

5- Udder floor well below hocks; pendulous udder

15- Udder floor below point of hock

20- Udder floor at point of hock

25- Udder floor above hock

35- Udder floor well above hock

45- Udder floor extremely high above hock; shallow udder

Rear Udder, Side View (Secondary Trait)

5- Extremely flat, lacks capacity

15- Flat

25- Intermediate in fullness

35- Rounded

45- Extremely rounded, bulging or protruding

STRUCTURAL CATEGORIES

The Structural Categories are scored on the same scale as the Major Categories described below:

Head                                      Legs Front               Back                   Feet

Shoulder Assembly             Legs Rear                Rump                 Udder Texture

 

MAJOR CATEGORIES and FINAL SCORE

The final score for an animal becomes part of the computer record used to develop sire summary information, while the evaluation of the major categories is used by the appraiser in arriving at a final score and to provide the herd owner with additional information about each animal.

The four major categories are assigned a letter designation rating, rather than a numerical score. The same scale is used for Mature Does, Bucks and Young Stock, with the Mammary category used only for Mature Does. The final score represents how close the overall animal comes to the ideal. A numerical final score is assigned to all mature animals, except those rated Poor, where the letter ”P” is used. Young Stock are all assigned a final letter rating rather than a numerical score. The designations and percentage ranges for scoring correspond to the following table:

                       Excellent    E   at least 90% of ideal – Mature Program

      Extremely Correct  EC  at least 90% ideal – Young Stock Program

                    Very Good    V   85% to 89% of ideal

                     Good Plus   +    80% to 84% of ideal

                    Acceptable   A   70% to 79% of ideal

                                 Fair   F   60% to 69% of ideal

                                Poor   P   less than 60% of ideal

The final step in the evaluation involves the determination of a final score for the animal. The appraiser uses guidelines which correspond to the judge’s scorecard breakdown adopted by ADGA and implemented in January 1989. Each Major Category contributes to the Final Score based on the following percentages:

Mature Does (any doe which has ever freshened)

General Appearance 35%

Dairy Strength 20%

Body Capacity 10%

Mammary 35%

 

Bucks and All Young Stock

General Appearance 55%

Dairy Strength 30%

Body Capacity 15%

General Appearance

In evaluation the general appearance of an animal, the appraiser considers the total structure of the goat, including the head, shoulder blades, back, loin, rump, legs and feet. Correctness in both size and conformation is indicated by an attractive appearance that reveals vigor, a harmonious blending and correlation of parts, an impressive style and attractive carriage, and a graceful and powerful walk. Strength, upstandingness, vigor, stretch, sound feet and legs, a level topline, a wide and level rump, and smooth blending are necessary for an animal to be considered Excellent or Very Good. Animals lacking these structural characteristics would be considered Fair or Poor, which animals intermediate in these characteristics would be considered Good Plus or Acceptable.

Dairy Strength

To determine a rating for dairy strength, the appraiser looks at the bone structure (including the neck, withers, ribs, and thighs), flanks, angularity, openness, degree of fleshing, animation, and skin and hair. A goat must have sharp lines, be angular and free from excess fleshing, have a strong but refined bone structure; a long and lean neck that blends smoothly into the shoulders’ ribs spaced far apart to give openness to the body; thighs that are incurving, and be free from excess flesh to be rated as Excellent or Very Good. Animals that are intermediate for these characteristics are rated Good Plus or Acceptable, while animals that have round, heavy bones and are coarse are rated Fair or Poor.

Body Capacity

The total volume of a goat (length, width, and depth of body) with regard to correct shape is considered in evaluating body capacity. A large, strong, vigorous animal generally has the ability to consume and utilize larger quantities of feed. Goats that are wide and deep in proportion to their stature, as indicated by a deep, strongly supported barrel; ribs that are wide apart and well sprung and tend to increase in width and depth toward the rear barrel; a large heart girth resulting from long, well-sprung foreribs; and a wide chest floor between the front legs and fullness at the point of elbow are rated Excellent or Very Good. Goats that are not seriously deficient in body capacity, but lack some in the characteristics listed above, particularly if they are lacking in spring of rib, are rated Good Plus or Acceptable. Goats that show definite deficiencies in body capacity, such as narrow, pinched heart girth; overall frailness; short ribs, resulting in a shallow animal; or ribs that are close together, resulting in a short, cramped body, may be rated Fair or Poor.

Mammary System

In evaluating the mammary system, the appraiser considers capacity and shape, rear and fore udder attachments, texture, and teats. A capacious, strongly attached, well-carried udder of good quality, indicating heavy production and a long period of usefulness, is preferred. Udders with the following characteristics are rated Excellent of Very Good; long, wide, strongly attached, and capacious udder that extends well forward, with a high, wide, rear udder attachment and halves that are evenly balanced and symmetrical; a fore udder that is carried well forward, is tightly attached, and blends smoothly into the body; a texture that is soft, pliable, elastic, and free of scar tissue, so that the udder collapses well after milking; and teats that are uniform, of convenient length and size, cylindrical in shape, free from obstructions, set square and properly placed, and easy to milk. Goats with short, bulgy, or loose foreudders; low, narrow, loose, or pinched rear udders and udders that are tilted or pendulous are rated Fair or Poor. Udders intermediate in strength of attachment, balance, capacity, cleavage, and texture are rated Good Plus or Acceptable.

If goats last appraised before the month of their fifth birthday are reappraised, their new score may be higher, lower, or the same as their previous score. Scores for animals previously appraised in or after the month of their fifth birthday can be raised or remain the same but cannot be lowered during subsequent appraisal sessions. The exception to this is for does appraised fry on or after their fifth birthday and later reappraised as milker. In this case, the score while in production status becomes the new score for the animal, whether it is higher, lower, or the same as the previous score assigned while the animal was dry.

Linear type traits are evaluated without consideration of any factors. However, the appraiser can consider factors such as management or environmental conditions when evaluating the structural/functional areas. The appraiser then can consider age, stage of pregnancy or lactation, and production level when evaluating the four major categories and determining the final score when their effect on the evaluation is obvious.

MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS AND DEFECTS

REMARKS:

1 Dry

2 Stale

3 Springing

4 Abnormal kidding

5 Not in condition

6 Reserved

7 Reserved

8 Enlarged joints

9 Extremely restricted motion 

DEFECTS:

       Feet and Legs       

10 Spread toes

11 Shallow heels

12 Front feet turn out

13 Turned-over feet

14 Weak pasterns

15 Bowed front legs

16 Crooked front legs

17 Front legs turn out

18 Straight stifle

19 Close rear legs

20 Hocks turn in

21 Abnormal Hoof Growth

22 Bowed pasterns

23 Front legs too far forward

24 Crooked feet

       Shoulders       

30 Out at elbow

31 Open shoulder

32 Winged shoulder

33 Too prominent at point of shoulder

34 Weak or narrow shoulder assembly

35 Shallow chest floor

35 Tilted chest floor

       Back & Rump       

40 Low front end

41 Weak chine

42 Weak loin

43 Roached back

44 High dorsal process

45 Thurls too low

46 Asymmetrical rump

       Mammary System       

50 Udder tilted

51 Udder twisted

52 Extremely short fore udder

53 Undesirable udder texture

54 Unbalanced udder

55 Blind udder half

56 Teats too short

57 Teats too long

58 Teats lack delineation

59 Abnormal teat placement

60 Abnormal teat shape

61 Extra teats

62 Teats point out

63 Blind teat

64 Double teat or orifice

65 Misplaced orifice

66 Leaking orifice

67 Congested udder

68 Blemished udder (injury, trauma, disease)

       Miscellaneous       

70 Nose incorrect for breed

71 Color or markings incorrect for breed

72 Ears incorrect for breed

73 Crooked face

74 Weak jaw

75 Overshot jaw

76 Undershot jaw

77 Total blindness

78 Navel hernia

79 Abnormal testicles

80 Overmature for age

81 Overly refined bone

82 Over maximum height for breed