Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 2011
Publication Date: June 12, 2011
Citation: Turner, K.E., Cassida, K.A. 2011. Performance and carcass parameters when meat goats were finished on chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, or red clover pastures. In: Proceedings and Abstracts 2011 Annual Conference of the American Forage and Grassland Council Conference, 12-15 June 2011, French Lick, IN. CDROM. Technical Abstract: The meat goat industry is growing rapidly in the eastern U.S., particularly on small farms, to supply ethnic market demands. Body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), and carcass parameters were determined when meat goat kids were finished on pastures of chicory (Cichorium intybus L.; CHIC), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.; BFT), or red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; RCL) during the 2010 growing season. Final BW (P < 0.03), shrunk BW (P < 0.02), carcass wt (P = 0.08) and body wall thickness (P < 0.02) were greater for goat kids finished on RCL pastures compared to CHIC pastures; goats grazing BFT were intermediate. The ADG were similar for RCL and BFT; both were greater (P < 0.01) than CHIC. Dressing percentage (mean 50.5 %) and ribeye area (REA; mean 1.4 sq. in.) were similar (P > 0.10) among groups. Backfat was similar for RCL and BFT (mean 0.05 in); both were greater (P < 0.001) than CHIC (0.03 in.). The internal fat score, REA:carcass wt. ratio, leg score, lean score, and conformation score were not different (P > 0.10) among groups. Small ruminants finished on pasture produced desirable finished BW and carcass characteristics for most ethnic markets.