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DHIR Questions

Discussion in 'Everything Else Goats' started by DesertDawn, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Nov 1, 2017
    DesertDawn

    DesertDawn Chillin' with the herd

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    I am new to the goat world. I have 3 Nigerian doelings. Two are almost 6 months and one is 10 months and expected to freshen Nov/Dec (I purchased her and discovered she was pregnant after the fact.) I'd like to enter the ADGA's DHIR but I have lots and lots of questions. I'll preface this by saying that I have been on the ADGA site and just when I thought I had a basic understanding, I read convo from goat folks and realize I have more questions. I have lots of questions, here they are:

    1. Is there a book or online program or something where I can learn the ins and outs of the DHIR program? It seems so choppy on the ADGA website.

    2. Is it worth it at this point in time for me to do this program. I will only have one doe in milk next year as the other two won't be old enough to breed until May 2018.

    3. I'd really like to see what level the doe I have is at, as far as, milk quality, quantity, etc. Would it be better to do my own testing for the first year?

    4. None of my doelings have tattoos. I have become friends with the breeder and she does have a tattoo kit and said I could borrow it to tattoo my girls. Can I do this at any age? I see there are 2 different sizes of letters/numbers, what size should I use? I've read it's good to do it when they're small and the tattoos grow with their ears. I need to purchase a kit of my own any recommendations?

    Any advice and direction would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Nov 1, 2017
    rosti

    rosti Chillin' with the herd

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    1. Not really, but joining a FB group on the subject can be helpful. The biggest thing for me wasn't the signing up part, it was filling out the paperwork when I actually did the test. There are a lot of options for what kind of test you do. Will you be collecting the samples and filling out the paperwork yourself, or is there someone in the area who does it for all the goat farmers? If you're gonna do it yourself, you have to take a short, open book test to get your tester ID number. I recommend finding someone who is already doing it, and go talk to them. If you can't find one, feel free to PM me and we can talk.

    2. Probably not, as the fees do add up, including the fee that the ADGA charges to sign up.

    3. Maybe-it would eliminate the ADGA fee.

    4. They can be tattooed at any age. You should be able to use the bigger size on adult Nigerians. I would assume the babies would have to have the smaller size. (I have Alpines, so always use the big ones.) About any kit should be good, just make sure the pliers have an ear release attachment on them, otherwise you will have to peel the ear off of the needles. Most people prefer green ink because it shows up well in both pink skin and dark skin.
     
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  3. Nov 1, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    It is ridiculous trying to go by the ADGA site.
    Yes you can do testing without ADGA
    There are FB groups but not all info is correct.

    You have to decide who you want to go through. We picked Dairy- One
    You will need to take your class and test to certify.
    You will need a herd number assigned by whoever you choose to go through.
    You have to decide will you be the tester or will you have someone else.
    There are rules concerning owner sampling and not being eligible for certain awards (through ADGA)
    You will need a verified tester. If going through ADGA.

    IMO I would wait till all 3 are in milk.

    You should not use anyone elses tattoo kit. Buy your own. We use the smaller numbers and letters on our Nigerians.
    After putting the numbers and letters in the clamp test on a paper to make sure it is in right order and facing the right way. :)

    After trying to get on test for 3 years and we are already certified I had someone walk me through step by step. We have decided not to put the two does that freshened in Aug on- we will wait til Feb/March when all the goats are kidding and go from there- less in fees this way.
    There are a few people trying to write a how to step by step because it is ridiculously confusing.

    I feel your pain!
     
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  4. Nov 1, 2017
    DesertDawn

    DesertDawn Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you both for your replies! Okay, this freshening I will do my own testing. I feel good about that because I have a lot to learn as this will be my first experience with kidding and I'm sure we're going to have wrinkles to iron out and barn tweaks, etc. I still have to come up with a herd name and register them with the ADGA. They are currently registered with the AGS right now. I will need to send milk to a lab, correct? Where do I find one? How do I find someone in my area that is already doing the DHIR program? I seem to remember seeing something somewhere on the ADGA site that had a list of folks in my area. I guess those would be the folks on test? I haven't been able to find it again as it seems to be buried somewhere. Last time I read about DHIR I think I had 5 or 6 windows open. There is definitely a need for a book on DHIR. I guess finding a local is the place to start as far as testing and finding out how it's done in this area. Should I perhaps call the ADGA to get that?

    Good point @Southern by choice on the tattoo kit. I'll have to buy extra letters to tattoo her Herd ID but if I remember correctly that's only a few bucks per letter. Thanks for the tips on that!

    My two main reasons for wanting to do the DHIR are #1- I want to know where my stock is in relation to butterfat, protein, and milk quantity and of course improve that with breeding. #2- I'd like my girls to earn M* so their babies will be worth a little more and they will be more apt to sell to folks that are interested in the dairy side instead of the pet folks. Not that there's anything wrong with pet folks but usually pet folks are looking for the cheaper goats and I'm from the school that the more someone pays for something, the better care they take of it. Not always the case but in general.
     
  5. Nov 1, 2017
    rosti

    rosti Chillin' with the herd

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    Here is a lab in AZ. http://azdhia.com
    Are you a member of ADGA yet? To find someone in your area who does DHIR, you can use the membership directory and look at the list of members that live in AZ. To the right of their information, under their ID number, if there is a code DHR or ADGAPLUS they are on DHIR.

    For the M*-that is only available if you are doing it through ADGA, so don't do just the one doe, by yourself, if you are wanting it.
    Most people do their own testing. The only difference with doing it through ADGA is that you have to pay a fee at the beginning of the year, do a VT test once a year, and submit the lactation papers to ADGA at the end of the lactation to get your milk star.
     
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  6. Nov 1, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    It's not hard. :)
    You get certified.
    You fill out the paperwork with ADGA.
    You register with the test company. We are with Dairy One in Ithaca, NY.
    You do monthly test.
    Send paperwork with milk samples to Dairy One. They handle the rest.
     
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  7. Nov 1, 2017
    DesertDawn

    DesertDawn Chillin' with the herd

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    @rosti I have not joined ADGA yet...I'm hung up on a herd name believe it or not. I need to nail that down. It's SO permanent, LOL! So M* is one of the awards I have to have someone else for the verification test then. That makes sense. Thanks for the dairy lab link!

    Okay, my next steps are to pick a herd name and join the ADGA, Then I will work on locating some folks in test in my area. Get tattoos, register goats. By that time, I should be rearing kids and milking.

    @OneFineAcre it should be that simple, LOL! ;)

    Thanks everyone for the guidance! I think this should get me where I need to be to get things moving.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    It is hard - that is why there are several FB groups solely dedicated to it and the fact that ADGA has been asked over and over by those involved heavily if they could rewrite the section to help others get started. The ADGA refuses.
    They say they promote performance testing yet purposely have made it difficult to navigate.

    Many of the new directors also what to change this and support more performance testing... we will see if they make progress or not.

    Add to that how many do not know that if you have dwarf breeds and standards it is best to have too different herd numbers because it will affect the standards long term... or should you just put them on a different strand? add to that which test group will you pick, which one allows the person to be eligible for all awards, which ones don't? Then finding out if you have a tester and you aren't doing owner sampler that even then you still have to have another do the VT.

    I have had 3 different answers of the maximum time that I have to get a goat on test after kidding...

    I think once a person gets on test then it becomes "easy". Everyone I know has had to have someone walk them through to get started.
     
  9. Nov 1, 2017
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I borrowed a tattoo kit but like you it was from the breeder I bought the animals from so at that point we share and share alike. Plus I always wash the letters when I am done, I spray them with 409 to get the ink off so not too worried about germs. Is there another reason not to share? When I was doing 40 goats it would have been nice to have one set up for each ear but I ended up only doing one ear as I only needed an identifier within my herd.
     
  10. Nov 1, 2017
    DesertDawn

    DesertDawn Chillin' with the herd

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    It's probably best not to share anything that comes into contact with blood as that is how diseases can be transmitted between herds.
     
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