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Change in energy expenditure by meat goats with varying levels of feed intake

A. Asmare, R. Puchala, A. K. Patra, R. C. Merkel, T. Sahlu, and A. L. Goetsch

E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK

Twelve yearling meat goat wethers (7/8 Boer) were used in a 16-wk experiment to determine effects of different levels of nutrient restriction and a maintenance level of intake after restriction on energy expenditure (EE). Dehydrated alfalfa pellets were fed throughout the experiment. During the first 4 wk for adaptation, wethers were fed near maintenance. In wk 5 to 10, six wethers were fed at 60% of the maintenance level and in wk 11 to 16 were again fed near maintenance (60/100). The other six wethers were fed at 80 and 60% of maintenance in wk 5 to10 and 11 to 16, respectively (80/60). BW and EE were measured on the last day of most weeks, with EE determined from heart rate and the previously determined ratio of EE to heart rate for each wether. BW did not differ between treatments (40.7, 38.9, 38.6, 37.1, 36.5, 37.1, 37.3, 37.4, 37.9, and 39.4 kg for 60/100, and 39.2, 38.2, 38.3, 37.5, 35.9, 37.5, 36.9, 36.3, 36.7, and 37.9 kg for 80/60 in wk 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16, respectively). EE, expressed relative to BW at the end of the adaptation period, was not different between treatments in wk 4 (362 and 342), 5 (361 and 385), 6 (320 and 308), or 7 (280 and 302), but was numerically lower for 60/100 than for 80/60 in wk 9 (261 and 283; P < 0.08) and 10 (259 and 276 kJ/kg BW0.75 for 60/100 and 80/60, respectively; P < 0.13). After the change in plane of nutrition, EE was less (P < 0.05) for 60/100 than for 80/60 in wk 11 (258 and 289) and greater (P < 0.05) for 60/100 in wk 12 (328 and 266), 13 (328 and 256), and 15 (332 and 257 kJ/kg BW0.75 for 60/100 and 80/60, respectively). In summary, there appears a 1- to 2-wk delay or lag in change in EE by goats in response to a marked decrease in feed intake or increase after a severe restriction. Change in EE upon nutrient restriction may be complete within 4 wk, but that with increased intake up to maintenance after a severe restriction can occur more quickly.


 

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