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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251068

Title: Effects of endophyte-infected fescue seed on physiological parameters of mature female meat goats

item Boyer, A
item Mays,, T
item Webb, G
item Brown, Michael
item Walker, E

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2010
Publication Date: 8/4/2010
Citation: Boyer, A.R., Mays,, T.L., Webb, G.W., Brown, M.A., Walker, E.L. 2010. Effects of endophyte-infected fescue seed on physiological parameters of mature female meat goats [abstract]. American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting, July 11-15, 2010, Denver, CO. Available on-line:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only.

Technical Abstract: The objectives of the study were to determine if consumption of endophyte-infected (E+) tall fescue seed would affect thermoregulation and dry matter intake (DMI) in mature female meat goats. During the 4 week study, goats (n = 18) were assigned to one of three treatments (n = 6 per treatment) and fed a ration consisting of a 2:1:1 ratio of alfalfa pellets, sweet feed, and 1 of 3 types of fescue seed; endophyte-Free KY-31(E-), endophyte-free Barenbrug (EB-), or E+ fescue. All goats were fed 2% of body weight (BW) DM, and orts were collected and weighed daily. At the initiation of the study, age and body condition scores were recorded. Temperature loggers designed for intravaginal insertion were used and temperature (T) collected. Average temperatures for 0400, 1000, 1600, 2200 hours (h) were recorded. Urine, blood, and BW were collected weekly. Ergovaline levels in the urine increased after 1 week on treatment (P = 0.03). Dry matter intake was affected by age (P = 0.01) and treatment x week interaction (P = 0.05). During week 1 of the study, EB- had a greater DMI than E-, while E+ was intermediate of the three treatments (P = 0.08). Seed intake was affected by date (P = 0.02), treatment (P = 0.03), treatment x week (P = 0.01), and age (P = 0.007). Intake of alfalfa pellets and sweet feed did not differ (P = 0.56) among treatments. No difference in average daily gain (ADG) in treatment groups (P = 0.22) occurred. A date affect on T occurred at 1600 (P = 0.002) in E- and EB- treatments and at 2200 h (P = 0.0003) in E- and E+ treatments. At 0400 h, EB- maintained a greater T than the other treatment groups (P = 0.03). At 1000 hours there was a treatment x week interaction (P = 0.01) and EB-maintained a greater (P = 0.06) T than the other treatments. Treatment affected DMI, seed intake, T, and urine concentrations of ergovaline. However, goats may handle ergovaline differently than other species and more research is require to evaluate these potential differences.