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Title: Finishing meat goats on birdsfoot trefoil, chicory, or red clover pastures

item Turner, Kenneth - Ken
item Cassida, Kimberly
item Zajac, A - Virginia-Maryland Regional College Of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2011
Publication Date: 2/1/2011
Citation: Turner, K.E., Cassida, K.A., Zajac, A.M. 2011. Finishing meat goats on birdsfoot trefoil, chicory, or red clover pastures (abstract). 2011 Northeast Pasture Consortium Annual Meeting, February 1-2, 2011, State College, Pennsylvania. p. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Control of gastrointestinal (GI) parasites in goats is a major challenge for producers. Some forages may contain natural compounds that can help in GI parasite control. This experiment was conducted to evaluate forage production patterns, animal performance, and health when meat goat kids were finished on birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.; BFT); chicory (Cichorium intybus L.; CHIC); red clover (Trifolium pretense L.; RCL) pastures. All forages met nutrient needs of growing goats, but changes in nutritive value (P < 0.05) and forage mass (P < 0.001) over time differed among forage species; RCL had greater forage mass than BFT or CHIC in early June and August. Ending body weights (lbs) were greater (P < 0.02) for goat kids grazing RCL (67.5) and BFT (65.9) compared to CHIC (60.6). Overall average daily gain (ADG, lb/d) was greater (P < 0.06) for RCL (0.14) compared to CHIC (0.08); BFT (0.13) was intermediate. Blood total protein (mg/dl) seasonal mean was highest in goats grazing RCL (6.6) compared to CHIC (6.1); BFT (6.4) was intermediate. The FAMACHA© scores (season mean 2.8) were not different among treatments. When averaged over the season, goat kids grazing CHIC (2247) had greater (P < 0.04) fecal egg count (eggs per gram) than RCL (1267) or BFT (1906). Goat kids grazing RCL and BFT appeared to be more resilient to GI parasites than goats grazing CHIC. Goat kids finished on all forage treatments produced desirable live weights (60-70 lbs) for ethnic markets.