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Effects of Preweaning Concentrate Supplementation on Performance of Meat Goats

A. L. Goetsch, G. Detweiler, and T. Sahlu

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

Sixty-four Spanish does with 112 Boer × Spanish or Spanish kids (16 singles and 96 twins) were used to determine effects of preweaning feeding of a concentrate-based supplement on preweaning and early postweaning growth. In mid-April, from approximately 6 to 14 wk after birth, animals grazed wheat forage (Phase 1), followed by 5 wk on native grass pasture (Phase 2) and an 8-wk postweaning period with a moderate level of supplemental concentrate (Phase 3). Treatments were no supplementation in Phases 1 and 2 (C), ad libitum consumption of a concentrate-based supplement in Phases 1 and 2 (A), no supplementation in Phase 1 and ad libitum consumption of supplement in Phase 2 (A-2), and limit feeding of supplement (approximately 1% of live weight, DM) in Phases 1 and 2 (L). Supplement intake averaged 30, 74, 90, 157, and 158 g/d for L and 36, 87, 192, 240, and 229 g/d for A in wk 2-4, 5-6, and 7-8 of Phase 1 and wk 1-2 and 3-5 of Phase 2, respectively; supplement intake for A-2 averaged 171 and 249 g/d in wk 1-2 and 3-5 of Phase 2, respectively. Forage DM mass was 2,474, 2,062, 1,315, 1,434, 2,245, 1,405, and 1,161 kg/ha in wk 1, 3, 5, and 7 of Phase 1 and wk 1, 3, and 5 of Phase 2, respectively. Kid live weight gain was similar among treatments in Phase 1 (108, 131, 119, and 113 g/d), lower (P < 0.05) for A than for C and A-2 and lower for L than for C (P < 0.05) and A-2 (P = 0.09) in Phase 2 (73, 21, 15, and 60 g/d), and lower (P < 0.05) for C than for A and A-2 in Phase 3 (44, 67, 90, and 83 g/d for C, L, A, and A-2, respectively). In conclusion, under conditions of this experiment preweaning feeding of a concentrate-based supplement did not enhance kid growth preweaning but generally improved early postweaning growth.


 

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