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Postweaning growth performance in Spanish, Boer × Spanish, and Boer × Angora goat kids

M. Cameron1, J.Luo1, T. Sahlu1, S. Hart1, and S. Coleman2

1E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, and 2USDA/ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, OK

Postweaning performance, apparent total tract nutrient digestibility, and plasma metabolite profiles of growing Spanish (S), Boer × Angora (BA), and Boer × Spanish (BS) castrates were investigated. The experiment was conducted over two 8-wk feeding periods: 78 S, 20 BA, and 30 BS were used in the first 8-wk period and 18 kids per genotype were used in the second 8-wk period. Kids were weaned at 8 wk of age and fed a commercial goat starter diet (25% CP, 2.71 Mcal/kg DE, 35%NDF, and 18% ADF) ad libitum. Feed intake was recorded daily and BW at 2-wk intervals. Digestibility was measured in wk 17 to 18 by weighing and sampling of offered feed, feed refusals, and feces for a period of 5 d. Boer × Angora and BS castrates had greater (P < 0.001) initial and final BW than S (7.3, 7.2, and 6.6 ± 0.2 kg; 24.4, 25.2, and 19.5 ± 0.25 kg, for BS, BA, and S, respectively). Final BW of BA was greater than BS (P < 0.03). Average daily gain (154, 161, and 117 ± 5.6 g/d), DM intake (646, 683, and 522 ± 21.5 g/d) and gain:feed (263, 261, and 235 ± 8.0 g of BW gain/kg of feed consumed) were also greater (P< 0.05) for BS and BA versus S, respectively. Averaged daily gain, DM intake, and feed:gain were similar (P > 0.05) between BA and BS. Body weight and DM intake increased (P < 0.001) linearly and quadratically over time; the rate at which BW and DM intake changed over time was greater (P < 0.001) for Boer crosses than S. Average daily gain increased linearly (P < 0.001) while feed efficiency decreased (P < 0.001) linearly and quadratically over the 16 wk feeding period. Genotype had no effect (P > 0.05) on digestibilities of dietary DM, OM, CP, or gross energy (687 ± 1.4%, 70.6 ± 1.3%, 69.9 ± 1.4%, and 69.3 ± 2.4%, respectively). Genotype also had no effect on plasma concentrations of total protein, glucose or NEFA (P > 0.05). However, BA had greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of plasma urea N compared with S and BS (25.5, 19.6, and 21.3 ± 1.0 mg/dL, respectively). Under intensive management, the use of Boer bucks as terminal sires has the potential to produce crossbred kids which grow faster and achieve heavier BW as compared to fullblood Spanish goat kids.


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