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Effects of separate offering of forage and concentrate on feed intake and growth of Alpine doelings

A. L. Goetsch, G. Detweiler, T. Sahlu, J. Hayes, and R. Puchala

Small Ruminant Research 48:209-216. 2003

Of all classes of animals on dairy farms, growing replacements often receive the least attention, which is of concern given the considerable expense in rearing without milk output. Simple and effective feeding management practices for replacement dairy goat doelings after weaning have not been extensively explored. Therefore, 44 weaned Alpine doelings (16 0.19 kg initial BW) were used in a 16-wk experiment to determine how separate free-choice offering of concentrate and forage (wheat hay, 14.2% CP and 62% NDF) affects performance compared with consumption of mixed diets of different proportions of concentrate and forage. An increasing level of concentrate (i.e., 25, 50 and 75%) in diets with moderate to high quality forage increased ADG by young Alpine doelings though did not influence feed intake. Separate and limited offering of concentrate (approximately 2% BW) resulted in performance as expected based on the resultant dietary concentrate level and responses to mixed diets. Overall ADG and ADG:DM intake in the 112-day experiment were slightly greater for doelings given separate free access to concentrate and forage than for doelings consuming a 75% concentrate mixed diet, even though dietary concentrate levels were similar, suggesting potential use of separate feeding for decreased feed mixing and labor inputs without sacrifice of animal performance.


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