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Effects of different feeding methods on growth and harvest traits of young Alpine kids

H. Genandoy, T. Sahlu, J. Davis, R. J. Wang, S. P. Hart, R. Puchala, and A. L. Goetsch

Small Ruminant Research. 44:81-87. 2002.

Compared with beef, lamb, and pork, chevon, particularly from young dairy kids, is quite lean, with little subcutaneous or intramuscular fat. Prior to the introduction of Boer goats, male kids from dairy goats harvested at a very young age provided much of the goat meat consumed in the U.S. In addition to feeding for early age slaughter, effective and economical feeding systems for dairy kids are needed for development of replacement doelings and with slaughter for meat at heavier weights and greater ages. Therefore, objectives of this experiment were to compare effects of ad libitum milk intake and limited milk consumption, with or without supplemental concentrate, on growth and carcass traits of Alpine kids at two harvest ages (10 and 13 weeks). Thirty wether kids (2 weeks of age) were given ad libitum (A) or limited (1 kg/day) access to milk, with (LC) or without (L) ad libitum supplemental concentrate. Average daily gain was lowest among dietary treatments for L and similar between A and LC at 10 weeks but greater for LC at 13 weeks (151, 55, and 149 g at 10 weeks and 110, 49, and 144 g at 13 weeks for A, L, and LC, respectively). Similar differences were observed in carcass weight (7.0, 3.7, and 6.1 kg at 10 weeks, and 6.8, 4.4, and 7.9 kg at 13 weeks for A, L, and LC, respectively). The ratio of kidney and pelvic fat to bone-free muscle was lowest among dietary treatments for L, similar between A and LC at 10 wk, and lower for LC versus A at 13 weeks (2.1, 0.5, and 2.0 at 10 wk and 2.7, 0.5, and 1.8 at 13 wk for A, L and LC, respectively). In summary, up to 10 weeks of age, either ad libitum consumption of milk or restricted milk intake with supplemental concentrate can be used to raise Alpine kids. However, with slaughter at ages greater than 10 weeks, body weight and carcass weight may be greater when concentrate is supplemented compared with ad libitum milk intake alone. Likewise, internal fat deposition can be elevated with extended ad libitum milk intake without supplemental concentrate.


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