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Effect of breed and litter size on yield of milk, milk fat, and milk protein in Boer x Spanish and Spanish does

B. Tamir, R.C. Merkel, T.A. Gipson and A.L. Goetsch

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

Forty-four pregnant does (22 Boer x Spanish (BS), 3 to 4 yr of age; 22 Spanish (SP), 3 to 5 yr of age) were used to evaluate effects of breed and litter size on total milk yield and yields of fat and protein. All does were housed in one pasture and had unlimited access to prairie hay (1.1% N, 66.5% NDF, 63% IVDMD), water, and trace mineralized salt. Seventeen does (9 BS and 8 SP) had single kid (SK) litters and the remaining 27 does (13 BS and 14 SP) had litters of two or three kids (MK). Prior to milking, does and kids were separated at 1600 and weighed. Milking occurring at 0900 the following morning, after which kids were reunited with does. Does were milked once every 2 wk through wk 12 of lactation in a 10-stanchion, automated milking parlor (WestfaliaSurge Inc., Naperville, IL) with an automatic milk sampler. Oxytocin (0.5 ml) was administered 5 min prior to milking to stimulate milk letdown. Milk samples were placed in vials with a preservative and analyzed for fat and protein using a Dairylab II milk analyzer (Mulitspec Ltd., Wheldrake, York, England). Individual lactation curves were constructed using the incomplete gamma function and nonlinear regression to estimate parameters of the incomplete gamma. Data were then analyzed using analysis of variance with genotype, litter size, and the two-way interaction as independent variables. Total milk (50.1 vs 37.9 kg; SE = 4.2) and milk protein yields (1.7 vs 1.2 kg; SE = 0.16) were greater for BS vs SP (P < 0.06). In addition, total milk (49.1 vs 38.9 kg; SE = 3.65) and milk protein yields (1.7 vs 1.2 kg; SE = 0.14) were greater (P < 0.07) for MK than for SK does. No differences were seen in ADG of BS vs SP kids (73 and 65 g/d for B and BS, respectively; SE = 5.8) or between female and male kids. Kids of SK does had ADG greater than of MK (86.0 vs 52.5 g/d SE 4.4). Litter growth was similar between BS and SP does. In conclusion, BS does produced more milk than did SP does, although this was not accompanied by greater kid ADG.


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