Linear Appraisals

Photo credit: Fern Tree Nigerians

Classification or Linear Appraisal

Classification is the formal scoring by trained inspectors of a goat’s conformational traits against a predetermined standard. The system has been modified from that used in Canada to assess dairy cattle and is available to Australian Nigerian Breeders through Holstein Australia.

Does in milk and bucks over 12 months of age can be classified and given scores

This system compiles over 20 traits into four composite scores: Mammary System, Feet and Legs, Dairy Strength and Rump. The four composite scores are then combined to calculate an overall conformation score out of 100, with each composite weighted according to its significance in predicting productivity and longevity, and thus lifetime profitability.

Goats are assigned a classification according to their final score:

EX – Excellent (90+ points)

VG – Very Good (85–89 points)

GP – Good Plus (80–84 points)

G – Good (75–79 points)

F – Fair (65-74 points)

Goats can be classified multiple times during their life and the scoring system rewards longevity and soundness in older animals. As a result a goats scores may improve as the does matures, provided they remain sound in body and udder. The highest life scores remain as a historic record of that goats degree of excellence.

Classified goats, receive individual written reports plus an additional report showing the herds overall standing, including strengths and weaknesses, is provided. This is very valuable information in helping to direct future breeding decisions.