Linear Appraisal

We participated in the American Dairy Goat Association’s Linear Appraisal program this month.  An independent appraiser came out and appraised all of our goats.  She looked and measured individual attributes such as their height and rump width.  They received values for individual parts of their bodies such as their shoulders or rear legs.  Then they were given an overall score based on general appearance and mammary system.  Finally they were given an overall number value.

linear appraisal_blog

The highest score that can be received by an individual appraiser is a 93.  A 94 can be achieved, but it requires going to a committee.

In the past, the highest score we’ve achieved was an 87.  We are super excited that this year we received our first 90 with Fantasmic!


Thalia and Valley both received 89s.


And we had many in the 86-88 range.

Linear appraisal takes a lot of work, time, and money.  The boys (primarily Greyden) shave all of the goats prior to appraisal.  The appraisal itself took about 6 hours.

goats getting hair cut_1

We participate in the program because it helps us to constantly improve our herd.  After our first appraisal (years ago), we learned that our rumps were getting too narrow. This could result in difficult kiddings and not enough room to support larger mammary systems.  We’ve dramatically improved that in our herd.

linear appraisal_blog_2

Our next appraisal showed that our chests were getting a little too narrow.  So we’ve been improving that.

With this appraisal we learned that we need to start to pay more attention to legs and shoulders.

Improving the conformation of our goats helps us breed goats that can support themselves over years of milking.  And better understanding their conformation helps us to choose which kids to keep and which ones to sell based on how we’re trying to improve our herd.

Overall it’s a great program and we learn so much from it every time we participate!




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  • sandra mcgeough

    Your goats sure look like top of the line too me.They are beautiful.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Sandra. We’re really proud of them. And love them all (even if they don’t score well). LOL PJ

  • congratulations. it is really important to keep up the quality of the herd because it is very easy for it to decline without even noticing.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Exactly! Very well said. 🙂 PJ