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baileybunch said:
Can anyone please explain the options (test plans?) to me in normal, new-to-dairy-goats, language?!
You can ignore all the plans that involve timers. :) The three common plans for goats are:
DHIR 20 Standard- A DHIA tester comes to your farm every month or six weeks, weighs every milking from every doe in the morning and again in the evening, and takes samples for butterfat, protein and somatic cell testing. The tester brings all the stuff, all you need is reg. papers for your does and some $. Paperwork for *M goes to ADGA automatically. You don't need a Verification test unless you might have Top Ten. This is the plan I use. I started with 4 does on test.

Owner Sampler- You buy the DHIA scale, dipper, sample vials, etc. You weigh your own milkings on test day, take samples, and mail in the samples & the milk weights to the lab. My tester sometimes picks up the samples & info from her O/S herds to mail in. You have to do a verification test- three milkings over 36 hrs with an official DHIA tester- when your does are between 2 & 5 months fresh. You also have to mail in doe sheets to ADGA to get the *Ms. I know there are O/S herds here on DGI who can give more info.

Group Test- At least 3 herds must be in the group. One person from each herd has to take DHIR tester training. The group has to buy all the stuff like scales etc & they take turns going to each other's herds & doing the weighing and taking samples. All paperwork has to be mailed into ADGA. A verification test has to be done by someone not in the group. (Anyone who actually does group can give you more info)

baileybunch said:
Our breeder has invited us to participate in her one day test in May. What will we be doing? What do I need to bring? How does that figure in to earning a *? I see the charts total milk production but is there a per day comparison somewhere?
The one day test is the same as a verification test. Three milkings are weighed, 12 hours apart. The first one is to "set the clock", the last two are the "official" ones and are sampled. You have to bring registration papers and probably should clip & clean ears as tattoos will be checked. Your does have to stay overnight on the premises. The tester fills out the paperwork & forwards it. ADGA uses a formula (it's in the guidebook) that give points for # of milk, butterfat, and stage of lactation.

baileybunch said:
How hard is all this to do? I heard from the breeder that it won't happen as a first freshener but I thought to get experience we would participate anyway.
Plan 20 isn't hard at all. The main difficulty I've had is getting reg# right since the format is different than cattle. I think it's harder to get a *M on one-day than on a regular plan, but most first fresheners who are on a DHIR plan should get a *M.
 

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Agape Oaks said:
I'm STILL struggling with getting their numbers right! I keep getting those darn error sheets from USDA & emailed back & forth with someone who got everything corrected one month, but the next month they were all wrong again. Is there some secret way of getting the numbers right? To top it off, I'm also on test for AGS & a few of my does are only
The reg # need to be corrected in your tester's computer and/or your lab/processing center. Otherwise they will keep sending the wrong # to the USDA every test.
If the reg # were entered wrong, the sire & dam reg should be checked because they are likely entered wrong too. And if the sire/dam # don't match what the USDA has on file, their computer will kick it back too.
 
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