Key Points for Judging Meat Goats

  • Evaluate meat goats first from the ground up and then from the rump (rear) forward.
  • Rank the traits for their importance.
  • Evaluate the most important traits first.
  • Eliminate any easy placings.
  • Place the class based on the volume of the important traits.

Ranking of Traits for Judging Meat Goats

  1. Degree of muscling.
  2. Soundness and structural correctness.
  3. Degree of finish (fat cover).
  4. Capacity (volume).
  5. Balance.
  6. Style.
  7. Freshness.

Evaluating Muscle

Evaluating Degree of Muscling

Degree of muscling in meat goats is best evaluated by considering:

  • Thickness through the center of the leg.
  • Width between rear feet when the goat stands and walks.
  • Width, depth, and length of the loin.
    • Wide topped goats with a long hind saddle in relation to front saddle is desired.

Evaluating Degree of muscling center leg width

Evaluating Degree of Muscling Center Leg Width

Evaluating Degree of Muscling Width of Loin


Evaluating Degree of Muscling Length of loin

Evaluating Soundness


Evaluating Soundness/Structure

Soundness and structural correctness in meat goats is best evaluated by considering:

  • Feet and toes
  • Knees
  • Hocks
  • Pasterns
  • Levelness of top


Evaluating Soundness Structure Feet and Toes


Evaluating Soundness Structure Pasterns


Evaluating soundness structure knees


Evaluating Soundness Structure Hocks


Evaluating Soundness Structure Levelness of Top


Evaluating Finish


Evaluating Finish

  • Unique characteristics of meat goats:
    • Goats deposit fat from the inside to the outside.
    • Goats do not marble (do not deposit intramuscular fat).
  • Meat goats should be lean and trim.
    • They should also have bloom.
    • Lean meat goats that are untrifty are discounted.


Evaluating finish Goats


Evaluating Finish Lean with Bloom


Evaluating capacity goats


Evaluating Capacity or Volume

  1. Body width.
    • Open rib shape and good base width desired.
  2. Body depth.
    • Good depth desired.
  3. Body length.
    • Good length desired.


Evaluating Capacity or volume body width


Evaluating Capacity or Volume body depth


Evaluating Capacity or Volume Body length


Evaluating Balance


Evaluating Balance

Balance in meat goats refers to having the correct proportions of:

  • Body width
  • Body depth
  • Body length

Evaluating Capacity or Volume Unbalanced Alert


Evaluating Capacity or Volume nicely balanced


Evaluating Style


Evaluating Style

Meat goats with style will exhibit the following:

  • A long, level top line.
  • A long neck that sits high on the shoulder.
  • A clean breast.
  • A smooth, neat shoulder that blends smoothly from neck to forerib.

Evaluating Style Poor vs nice style


Evaluating Style Poor vs nice style


Evaluating Style Poor vs nice style


Evaluating Style Excellent Style


Evaluating Freshness


Evaluating Freshness

Freshness in meat goats refers to having:

  • An appearance of being healthy (not unthrifty)
  • A smooth, slick hair coat.


Evaluating Freshness not fresh


Evaluating Freshness - fresh


Final Tips for Judging Meat Goats

  • Remember the important traits.
  • Know what "correct" looks like.
  • Look at lots of meat goats.
  • Practice your judging skills

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