Question about weak back

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Nancy_in_GA, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Is a weak back ("dip in the chine/loin" ?) always a genetic trait, or is there something nutritionally or health-wise that can also cause, or at least aggravate, this condition? -Nancy
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is inhereited. "Strength throughout" is a term you will hear over and over at a show, or when describing nice goats. You can't change a skeleton, you can add flesh over the ribs etc., but a skeleton is either narrow or wide, weak or strong. You can usually see the weakness that would lead to a dip in the chine, in the legs also, they are usually very slim boned goats that also have this weekness in the chine.

    Now large goats can be ruined by being ridden or carrying large loads. Vicki
     

  3. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a definite combination of diet and genetics. I think there is a tendency to have chine problems in very long-bodied goats and possibly goats with not-so-good front-end assemblies moreso than others with better genetics, but I believe it is highly influenced by environmental conditions.

    I have found that a dip in the chine, or weak chine, to be almost always due to overly fast growth as a yearling. Too much weight combined with too fast growth. Not all goats fed hard like this will have a chine breakdown, but some will.

    I've believe weak chine is related to the entire front end assembly. I've had a line of goats that were fairly strong with a lack of brisket and front legs were probably set a tad too far forward and they were long bodied goats and they grew fast and had weak chines, and then I've had narrower goats with great front ends, nicely placed front legs and they have great chines. I think a bad front end assembly puts more stress on the chine and therefore causes it to break down if the animal is too fat or grows too fast as a yearling. Of course this is more conformation instead of dietary, but those goats in the first category mentioned above seemed to be the ones prone to developing the problem in conjunction with the overfeeding/fast growth. So it is a two-way street.

    I used to have chine problems when I fed my yearlings up to be large and win in the show ring. Since I started cutting out the grain in the spring and putting them on pasture, they grow a little slower but they end up better in the long run with less chine problems. I do grain as kids and encourage to grow, but there's something about that yearling stage - I guess it has to do with body parts growing at different rates. What people (judges also) don't realize is a yearling goat is not supposed to be as big as a four year old. They can and will grow until they are four, and they do a lot better if let grow slowly like that. Some of the more experienced, older judges seem to realize that and place accordingly.

    Sometimes at shows people don't know any better and try to stretch the back legs way out like a rocking horse and that also makes the chine look horrible when it is really not. I see pictures like this on the internet all the time. Too bad it makes their nice animal look aweful. This is why they are looked at on the move also in the show ring.

    Now the rump, that's another matter. It can be sloped real severely from hips to pins and there's nothing you can do about it. Again, sometimes it's just a growth spurt, but usually a steep rumped kid will be pretty steep as an adult also. Steep rump is not the end of the world, it just means you will not do as good in the show ring. It is actually a desireable trait if you want to avoid kidding problems. Extremely level rumped animals from hips to pins are more prone to not be able to kid normally. A steep rumps supposedly means a lower rear udder, but I've had some pretty steep rumped nubians and they had nice high rear udders and their udder didn't come anywhere near their hocks...

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both very much. This is really interesting to me.

    A fairly pronounced dip seemed to appear rather suddenly at about 10 months in one of the kids we purchased last spring.

    This goat IS long bodied, with wider shoulders and hips, and did start carrying extra weight at about the same time (from alfalfa pellets this winter).

    Thought it might be due to a *lack* of something in the diet. But none of the others show this trait, so it is probably just genetic. Maybe he'll at least LOOK a little better this summer on browse with more exercise.

    Nancy
     
  5. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

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    I would do as you are going to do - watch his weight and give him plenty of exercise. He's right at the age when they start looking HORRIBLE sometimes. I have one out of a line that does that... Last year as a yearling she was way taller in the rear than the fore. Knowing what she came out of I ignored her imbalance and sure enough she is older, due next month, and looks very nice. I am REALLY hoping she'll have a nice udder because she's my niece's goat and she LOVES that goat. I really want her to do well showing her.

    I would be curious to know what bloodline the little boy is out of... I bet I can guess... If you want to tell me privately, I would be curious to know. If it is the line I'm thinking of, you might need to hide him until he's two, then he'll be very presentable <grin>.

    Sometimes it can be dietary. That is a complicated matter. Water can be the worst enemy - if you are high in one mineral, it can bind up or imbalance everything else and lead to deficiencies no matter what kind of mineral you give.
     
  6. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Bet you can't (guess, I mean)...

    He is a 100% Saanen wether. And I am only a beginner, who originally wanted goats just to clear brush. Breeding, milking, or showing were the furthest things from my mind.

    But because I couldn't find any grade goats without horns, ended up (by accident) with some fairly decent goats---Nubians, Saanens, Alpine. Now I wish I had been more knowledgeable when I got them. They are just wethers and does from local breeders.

    But you certainly haven't wasted your time on me. Just retired a couple of years ago and am totally caught up in this, especially nutrition and health issues. My goats are now treated as if they all had papers, and all they do is eat brush.

    Thank you very much
    Nancy
     
  7. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

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    Haha, you're right, I can't guess. Silly me assumed he was Nubian. Dippy chine is usually seen more often in Nubians than the other breeds.

    Hey, don't knock unregistered goats.

    I have a friend who paid $350 for a registered alpine and has not been very impressed with her. She has an unregistered grade saanen doe who she really likes. The saanen doe is milking through and is giving quite a bit of milk from what I last heard. Her value is much more than that of the alpine with a pedigree.