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Performance by goats and sheep consuming a 65% concentrate diet subsequent to co- grazing of grass/forb pastures at different stocking rates

G. Animut1,2, A. L. Goetsch1, G. E. Aiken3, R. Puchala1, G. Detweiler1, C. R. Krehbiel2, R. C. Merkel1, T. Sahlu1, L. J. Dawson4, and Z. B. Johnson5

1E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, 2Animal Science Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 3USDA ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, Booneville, AR, 4 College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 5Department of Animal Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

A study was conducted to determine effects of previous co-grazing of mixed grass/forb pastures at three stocking rates (SR) on subsequent performance of goats and sheep consuming a 65% concentrate diet. Experimental periods, in 2002 and 2003, were 15 wk in length, following 16 wk of grazing. Sheep (Khatadin) and goats (≥ 75% Boer) were 4 to 5 mo of age when grazing began. Stocking rates were four (4), six (6), and eight (8) animals per 0.4-ha pasture, with equal numbers of sheep and goats and three pastures per SR. Two sheep and two goats from each pasture were used in this subsequent confinement phase of the study, with initial BW of 23 ± 2.7 and 25 ± 3.6 kg, respectively. ADG by all animals during grazing tended (P < 0.10) to decrease with increasing SR (53, 44, and 41 g for 4, 6, and 8, respectively). In the period after grazing, DMI was affected (P < 0.05) by year x SR (yr 1: 958, 955, and 1,011g/d; yr 2: 1,109, 904, and 931 g/d for 4, 6, and 8, respectively (SE = 49.6)) and species x year (P < 0.06) interactions (yr 1: 1,105 and 844; yr 2: 1,164 and 799 g/d for sheep and goats, respectively (SE = 40.5)). ADG was unaffected by SR (P > 0.10; 183, 153, and 159 g for 4, 6, and 8, respectively (SE = 8.3)) but was greater (P < 0.05) for sheep vs goats (193 vs 137 g; SE = 8.1). Gain efficiency (ADG:DMI) was not influenced by treatments. Energy expenditure (EE) measured twice via heart rate tended to increase linearly (P < 0.07) with increasing SR (562, 592, and 628 kJ/kg BW0.75 for 4, 6, and 8, respectively; SE = 15.9). Body composition at the beginning and end of the experiment, measured from shrunk BW and urea space, was not impacted by SR. In conclusion, ADG by neither sheep nor goats consuming a 65% concentrate diet compensated for the effect of SR in a previous grazing period, which may involve effect of prior SR on subsequent EE.


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