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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Meat Goat Performance and Carcass Parameters When Finished on Orchardgrass, Red Clover, Or Alfalfa Pastures

item Turner, Kenneth
item Cassida, Kimberly

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2006
Publication Date: March 10, 2006
Citation: Turner, K.E., Cassida, K.A., Pritchard, J.Y. 2006. Meat Goat Performance and Carcass Parameters when Finished on Orchardgrass, Red Clover, or Alfalfa Pastures. In: Alison, M. W. Jr., editor. American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings, March 12-14, 2006, San Antonio, Texas. 15:8, 87-91. March 12-14, 2006. San Antonio, Texas. 15:8 87-91.

Technical Abstract: The meat goat industry is growing rapidly in the U.S., particularly on small farms. There are a diversity of forage types and qualities used in meat goat production systems. Seventy-two Boer goats were used to evaluate weight gain and carcass parameters when growing goats were finished on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.; ALF), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; RCL), or orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.; OGR) pastures without energy supplementation. Forage mass showed an interaction (P < 0.001) between treatment and time over the grazing season. Goat kids grazing RCL and ALF had higher BW than those grazing OGR throughout the grazing season. Average daily gain (ADG) was similar for ALF and RCL kids (mean 0.18 lb/d) and both were greater (P < 0.001) than OGR (0.11 lb/d). Carcass wt were similar for kids finished on RCL and ALF (mean 33.8 lb), but both were greater (P < 0.0001) than kids grazing OGR (29.8 lb). Dressing percentage of RCL and OGR was similar (mean 51.7 %), but both were greater (P < 0.05) than ALF (49.8 %). Ribeye area was higher (P < 0.01) for kids finished on RC compared to ALF and OGR. Backfat measurements were not different (mean 0.05 in). Goats finished on ALF, RCL, and OGR produced desirable finished BW and carcasses for the Muslim Halal ethnic market.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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