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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Performance and nutrient utilization in purebred Spanish and Boer Spanish and Kiko Spanish genetic types of goats offered alfalfa hay with corn supplementation

Authors
item Turner, Kenneth
item Wildeus, S. - VIRGINIA STATE UNIV
item Collins, J. - VIRGINIA STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Small Ruminant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 9, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Citation: Turner, K.E., Wildeus, S., Collins, J.R. 2011. Performance and nutrient utilization in purebred Spanish and Boer Spanish and Kiko Spanish genetic types of goats offered alfalfa hay with corn supplementation. Small Ruminant Research. 96(2-3):144-148.

Interpretive Summary: The meat goat industry is growing rapidly in the U.S. and becoming a popular enterprise on small farms. Meat goat production in the U.S. almost extensively uses the Boer breed in crosses with landrace goat breeds (i.e. Spanish) to take advantage of their meat-type conformation and hybrid vigor derived from crossbreeding. Spanish goats are still appreciable. The Kiko meat goat was recently introduced into the U.S. as an alternative to the Boer meat goat. We compared performance of the Kiko crossbreds compared to Boer crossbreds and purebred Spanish breed used in meat goat finishing systems. Even though Kiko goats had higher dry matter intake compared to Boer and Spanish goats, utilization of dry matter, nitrogen and fiber was the same among the three breeds. Kiko crossbreeds and Boer crossbreeds had numerically the highest ADG and Spanish goats had numerically the lowest ADG. This work is useful to animal scientists trying to characterize meat goat nutrient utilization. It will be benefit our economy by helping meat goat producers develop crossbreeding programs that optimize animal growth and nutrient utilization at least cost in order to improve small farm income.

Technical Abstract: A metabolism (Experiment 1; n = 18) and a pen feeding (Experiment 2; n = 24) study were conducted to determine intake, diet digestibility, nitrogen use, and performance when different breeds of meat goats were offered high forage diets. In both experiments, castrate male goat kids, equally representing the F1 Boer x Spanish (BX), Kiko x Spanish (KX), and purebred Spanish (SP) breed types were offered chopped alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with a corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] meal (SBM) supplement. In Experiment 1, total DMI hay intake among the three goat breeds was variable, but was higher (P = 0.05) for KX compared to SP; BX was intermediate. Apparent digestibility coefficients for DM, OM, N, NDF, and ADF were not different (P > 0.10) among goat breeds. Blood glucose concentrations were similar for SP and KX (mean 70.3 mg/dl), but both were higher (P <0.01) compared to BX (62.6 mg/dl). In Experiment 2, hay intake (kg) was greater (P < 0.05) for KX compared to SP; BX was intermediate. When expressed as a %BW, hay DMI (mean 2.46% BW) and total DMI (mean 4.26% BW) were not different among breeds. Beginning, interim, and ending BW were greater (P < 0.001) for KX compared to BX; both were greater than SP. The ADG were similar (P > 0.10) among breeds (mean g/d). More research is needed that evaluates forage-supplement interactions, metabolic differences, and physiological changes among meat goats in order to optimize nutrient-use efficiency and performance.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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