Two Production Programs are currently in effect: Milk Testing and Registry of Merit.
Milk Testing – Sheep and Goats
IGSCR views milk production as very important for both the dairy animals and their owners and breeders. Our Milk Testing Program keeps records on which breeds and what animals which hold awards for milk production.
The IGSCR Milk Testing Program is the result of extensive research by one of our former registry owners and our current owner. Our Program has been developed to promote excellence in production, not only normal milk and butterfat production, but also for excellent extended lactation and lifetime production. Owners/breeders have several options of receiving awards for their does and ewes and bucks. Following the suggestion from some members to add an award level for lesser amounts of milk production, we intend to add that level to the award system. Additionally, the IGSCR Milk Testing Program currently has achievement awards for specific age categories. The age categories are divided into three levels, and will eventually extend to four levels.
Titles, of course, do not tell the whole story. They simply provide a vehicle to suggest the level of achievement, then lead us to the actual records, where our members can make up their own minds about the excellence of the specific animal’s and lineage’s milk production.
Why focus on extended lactation?
Consider how many people live in towns and cities who either are not allowed a buck on premises, or have no access to a buck, but who still need milk and milk products for their family. Many breeders and owners breed out extended lactation traits and train animals to only milk for show season, resulting in goats/sheep which cannot produce milk for extended periods of time.
The IGSCR Milk Testing Program consists of four extended lactation levels, relating to the number of days being milked. Amounts of milk required per day for standard breeds is set at a minimum of three pounds. For miniature breeds, the minimum milk production per day is one and a half pounds.
Why set different levels of requirement for various age groups?
After careful research and thought, we at IGSCR (formerly IDGR) have concluded that blanket single levels of required amounts leaves out various necessary levels. Some does excel and others are good medium level production and others achieve lower levels but are still excellent milk, butterfat, and protein producers. The age grouping system shows more fully where does and bucks, ewes and rams are in their production, year after year, generation after generation.
Why does IGSCR Milk Testing Program require higher amounts of milk?
Our development of the Milk Testing Program showed that many milk production programs give awards to most animals while inadequately awarding. Some breeders have said:
If the doe is a 6*D, you know that they are superior milkers. (not our registry)
Others have said:
I’ve realized that just because an animal carries a milk award, that doesn’t mean they are great milkers.
Just because an animal has a SG title doesn’t mean they are excellent milkers.
IGSCR set out to solve that problem. With our various levels and higher production requirements in both milk volume and butterfat, our goal is to show which animals are excellent producers for you and your family.
Types of Milk Testing:
- 305 DHI and Barn Records (AR) … for both does and bucks, ewes and rams
- 30-day (DHI and Barn Records (*D) … for both does and bucks, ewes and rams
- One-day (*)
- Lactation Length (extended lactation)
Production and Conformation Titles:
Advanced Registry for does and bucks
AR: When does or ewes achieve the required amount of milk using DHI milk testing program, they will be receive the appropriate AR* title.
ARB: When does or ewes achieve the required amount of milk using the 305 day or longer Barn Records program, they will receive the appropriate ARB* title.
Specific bucks will receive bucks, based upon daughters, dams and/or sons who AR title recipients.
Top Ten List and Award Program
IGSCR is developing an annual Top Ten List Award Program. Animals not meeting breed standards such as over height will not be eligible to be on this list. We feel that putting records on this list will not accurately show what the various breeds can do on production.
Registry of Merit Program
The IGSCR Registry of Merit Program was created by one of our former registry owners who is a veterinarian. One of the issues this Program hopes to address is the history of breeding out the mothering instinct and the ability to raise young to at least sixty days. Many breeders and owners have come to believe that bottle feeding raises friendly babies. [Author Peggy’s Note: My own herd has shown me this is not necessarily the only way to obtain friendly babies. The way to produce friendly babies is through socializing and working with lambs and kids and through Imprint Training with colts. With so many of us working full time jobs and leading busy lives, we cannot always be present at kidding or lambing. I cannot tell you how many times I panic at kidding time, because of my employment situation. Most of the time I come home and find babies born and having already nursed.]
The Registry of Merit Program addresses these characteristics:
Breed Leader Program
At IGSCR we have newly implemented a program called the Breed Leader. Each year we will select the does/ewes within each breed which have excelled in production (milk weight, butterfat, protein and extended lactation) and Registry of Merit. We are developing the Breed Leader Conformation Evaluation, to be added to the Breed Leader program.
Production Supreme Program
IGSCR’s Production Supreme Program is another way to show excellence in our dairy stock. Its purpose is to improve herd management, to advance breeding practices, and excel in production. Production Supreme Program price is shown . The Program includes:
- 305 day or longer milk testing (don’t worry if you milk a few days less. we will prorate the required amounts)
- Registry of Merit and/or Linear Appraisal Conformation Evaluation
- DNA Markers and Alpha Casien testing