Submitted to: Small Ruminant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2005
Publication Date: 1/2/2007
Citation: Tovar-Luna, I., Goetsch, A.L., Puchala, R., Sahlu, T., Carstens, G.E., Freetly, H.C., Johnson, Z.B. 2007. Efficiency of energy use for maintenance and gain by growing crossbred Boer and Spanish goats consuming diets differing in forage level. Small Ruminant Research. 67(1):20-27.
Interpretive Summary: The amount of goat meat consumed in the United States of America has been steadily increasing. The increased interest in goat meat has led to a production industry that has focused on the selection of breeds of goats that have high carcass merit. Limited information is available to estimate the energetic requirements of these meat goats and even less information is available to estimate the efficiency of conversion of feed energy into body tissues from different feeds. A series of studies were conducted at Langston University with cooperative support from the US Meat Animal Research Center and Texas A&M University that found no difference in the efficiency of energy utilization for maintenance and growth of two breed types of meat goats. The study did determine that the efficiency of energy retention for growth increased when diets high in corn and soybean meal were fed compared to goats fed only alfalfa hay.
Technical Abstract: Eight Boer (75%)×Spanish (BS) and eight Spanish (S) wether goats (155±8 days of age and 19.2±2.3 kg BW, initial) were used in a replicated crossover design experiment with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments to determine the effects of genotype and diet quality on heat production with ad libitum, near maintenance and fasting levels of feed intake. Diets were 65% concentrate (CON 15% CP, DMbasis) and coarsely ground alfalfa hay (FOR 23% CP). There were no significant interactions between genotype and diet. ME intake was similar between genotypes and greater (P < 0.05) for CON versus FOR both when intake was ad libitum (7.60 versus 5.43 MJ/day) and near maintenance (4.31 versus 4.09 MJ/day). DE concentration was greater (P < 0.05) for CON than for FOR with ad libitum (74.4 versus 55.5%) and restricted intake (77.0 versus 59.6%). Energy expenditure (EE), determined by respiration calorimetry, at all levels of intake was similar between genotypes. EE was greater (P < 0.05) for CON than for FOR at each of the three levels of intake, ad libitum (573 and 521 kJ/kg BW0.75 while fasting), near maintenance (426 and 400 kJ/kg BW0.75) and fasting (280 and 255 kJ/kg BW0.75). Efficiencies of ME utilization for maintenance (km) and gain (kg) and the ME requirement for maintenance (MEm) were similar between genotypes. km was similar between diets (0.705 and 0.690 for CON and FOR, respectively), although kg was greater (P < 0.05) for CON than for FOR (0.603 versus 0.387). MEm was numerically greater (P < 0.17) for CON than for FOR (407 versus 379 kJ/kg BW0.75), which may have involved higher ME intake with CON. In conclusion, under the conditions of this experiment energy requirements and efficiency of utilization were not different between growing Boer crossbred and Spanish goats regardless of diet quality.