September 23, 2009

Kentucky's growing goat industry is attracting new producers all the time. Those producers may not have a lot of previous livestock breeding experience or may just need to learn goat-specific techniques. To that end, the University of Kentucky is offering a free, hands-on clinic Oct. 3 in Clark County.

Artificial insemination is a viable way of improving goat herd genetics. Seasonal-breeding does cycle about every 21 days, with the average heat, or estrus, lasting about 36 hours. Ovulation comes toward the end of estrus. Producers can effectively use artificial insemination, commonly referred to as AI during this time to increase reproductive efficiency.

The 6th Annual Goat AI Clinic will take place at Slatewoods Farm in Clark County. The clinic begins at 9 a.m. and will follow a lecture format in the morning and have hands-on activities in the afternoon.

 "It's really nice of Cathy Jones to let us do this clinic at her farm," said Terry Hutchens, UK extension goat specialist. "A hands-on approach really is the best way to teach goat producers how to use AI on their farms."

Hutchens said two participants are traveling all the way from the Philippines to attend the clinic.

"They are coming here to learn more about goat production, and they'll gain knowledge that they can then take back to their country and implement there," Hutchens said. "They'll be here for several days, and we'll be taking them to visit other sites with respect to goat production as well."

There is no registration fee required for the clinic. Directions from Winchester: take KY Route 89 southeast and travel 8 to 10 miles to Trapp. At the Trapp fire station, take a right onto KY 3369 and then turn left onto Rightangle Road. Follow Rightangle Road to Slatewoods Farm, there will be a sign on the right side of the road. Registration is required. E-mail Cathy Jones at slatewoods@inthehills.com.

For more information, contact Hutchens at 859-257-2465.

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