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Effects of change in dietary forage level on dairy goat performance

A. L. Goetsch1, M. Lachica1, R. Puchala1, T. Sahlu1, L. J. Dawson2, and A. L. Adams1

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

Thirty-one Alpine does and 31 doelings (52 ± 1.62 and 34 ± 0.86 kg, respectively) were used to determine effects of dietary levels of forage and ruminally undegraded protein (RUP), and change in forage level, on early lactation performance. Goats began a 2-wk covariate period at 3 to 9 d after parturition, then were assigned to treatments: 80 = 80% forage diet; 80R = 80 with RUP; 40 = 40% forage diet; 40R = 40 with RUP; A = 80 in wk 1 to 3, transition to 40 in wk 4 to 5, and 40 in wk 6 to 16; and AR = 80R in wk 1 to 3, transition to 40R in wk 4 to 5, and 40R in wk 6 to 16. Diets were formulated at 17.5% CP; for 80R and 40R, equal CP was supplied by blood, fish, and feather meals, substituting for 67% of soybean meal CP. Overall, parity did not interact with dietary treatment (P > 0.10). Milk production was greater (P < 0.05) for 40 and 40R than for 80 and 80R and influenced (P < 0.05) by RUP in wk 1 to 3 and 4 to 5 (wk 1 to 3: 2.51, 2.74, 2.72, 3.33, 2.44, and 2.54 kg/d; wk 4 to 5: 2.52, 2.73, 3.13, 3.59, 2.56, and 2.62 kg/d; wk 6 to 16: 2.18, 2.33, 2.85, 3.11, 2.54, and 3.01 kg/d for 80, 80R, 40, 40R, A, and AR, respectively). Dietary treatments had little or no effects on milk fat and lactose levels; however, forage level influenced (P < 0.05) milk protein concentration (wk 1 and 3: 2.99, 2.99, 3.25, 3.11, 2.98, and 3.13%; wk 5: 2.81, 2.72, 2.91, 2.86, 2.76, and 2.94%; wk 7, 11, and 15: 2.48, 2.51, 2.86, 2.69, 2.74, and 2.68% for 80, 80R, 40, 40R, A, and AR, respectively). In conclusion, milk production and protein concentration were greater with 40 vs 80% forage throughout the 16-wk early lactation period, although RUP impacted milk production only in the first segment. Changing dietary forage level in early lactation of dairy goats did not influence subsequent production.


 

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