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Effect of feeding system on performance test traits of young meat bucks in a central performance test

T. A. Gipson1, L. Dawson2, and T. Sahlu1

1E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, 2 College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

Central performance testing of meat goats is increasing in popularity in the US as indicated by increasing number of bucks on-test and increasing number of test stations. Various feeding systems are available which enable measurement of individual performance traits such as intake, gain, etc. The objective of this research was to compare the effect of two different feeding systems on performance test traits. In 2004, 56 young meat bucks (entry age 101 ±± 20.0 d and weight 24.3 ± 5.8 kg), predominately Boer, were enrolled in the buck performance test at Langston University. Bucks were ranked by weight and alternately assigned to Calan (C) gate feeders or to automated Feed Intake Recording Equipment (F) feeders. The F system is a completely automated electronic feeding system, which records body weight and feed intake of each individual animal's visit. For the C feeders, each buck wears a collar with an electronic key, which allows access to an individual feeder, feed is weighed and intake is calculated manually. For both C and F feeders, all bucks were weighed weekly for the 12 wk of the performance test. Beginning weight, end weight, gain, average daily gain (ADG; calculated by linear regression), feed intake (FI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and residual feed intake (RFI) were analyzed using general linear models procedure of SAS. After a 2-wk adjustment period, bucks averaged 29.4 kg for C and 30.7 for F (± 6.9 kg, P = 0.49). At the end of the performance test, bucks averaged 52.9 kg for C and 55.6 for F (± 8.0 kg, P = 0.24). Gain was 23.5 kg for C and 24.9 for F (± 3.9 kg, P = 0.22), which resulted in an ADG of 290.2 g/d for C and 297.3 for F (± 43.2 g/d, P = 0.56). FI averaged 160.5 kg for C and 166.1 for F (± 29.3 kg, P = 0.49), which resulted in a FCR of 0.149 for C and 0.150 for F (± 0.02, P = 0.83). RFI averaged -0.003 kg/d for C and -0.008 for F (± 0.13 kg/d, P = 0.89). The type of feeding delivery system had no effect upon any of the performance test traits. Therefore, the feeding delivery system should have no effect upon a buck's final ranking on a central performance test.


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