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On-farm performance of Arsi-Bale goats receiving different concentrate supplements

Guru, M., G. Abebe, A. L. Goetsch, F. Hundessa, A. Ebro, and B. Shelima

Livestock Research for Rural Development Volume 20, Article #201. (www.lrrd.org/lrrd20/12/guru20201.htm)

An experiment was conducted to compare effects of supplements based on different byproduct feedstuffs on on-farm performance of yearling Arsi-Bale goats in the Adami Tulu district of Ethiopia. The study was conducted during the main growing season (wet season) at the time when most grazing land is cultivated. A farmer research group (FRG) was formed in each of three villages. Each FRG consisted of nine farm households, with eight contributing three animals and one providing six. A barn with three pens was constructed at one farm in each village. One or two animals from each farm were allocated to three supplementation treatments. Animals received supplements and resided at night in the barn pens. Supplements, offered at 2.5% of body weight, consisted of 50% wheat bran, 1% salt, and 49% noug cake (N), formaldehyde-treated noug cake (F-N), or linseed meal (L). Initial body weight was 14.5 (SE = 0.18 kg). Average daily gain was greater for L than for N (P < 0.05) and F-N (P < 0.08) (100, 113, and 134 g/day for N, F-N, and L, respectively; SE = 6.6). The difference between the increase in estimated animal value due to supplementation and supplement cost was 51.87, 61.1, and 79.75 Ethiopian birr per animal for N, F-N, and L, respectively. In conclusion, based on average daily gain and the greater concentration of metabolizable energy in linseed meal vs. noug cake, energy appeared relatively more limiting to performance than protein. Supplementation of goats with available byproduct feedstuffs offers a means of achieving marketable body weight and profit with suboptimal grazing conditions.


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