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Nutrient Requirements of Goats: Web-Based Calculator

A. L. Goetsch, T. A. Gipson, T. Sahlu, and R. C. Merkel

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

In order for nutrient requirement expressions to be of value, they must be readily accessible to potential users and reasonably simple considering audience diversity. Therefore, a web-based goat nutrient requirement calculation system was developed based on findings of a recent project based on a database of treatment mean observations from the literature. JavaScript, a powerful client-side scripting language, was used for all calculators. There are calculators for requirements of metabolizable energy for suckling, growing, mature, lactating, and Angora goats and gestation, and of metabolizable protein for growing, mature, lactating, and Angora goats and gestation. Metabolizable energy requirements can be adjusted for factors such as grazing activity energy cost, acclimatization, and previous nutritional plane. Dietary dry matter necessary to meet metabolizable energy needs for growing, mature, and Angora goats are adjusted for influences of dietary metabolizable energy concentration on efficiencies of metabolism. Feed intake can be predicted for lactating, Angora, mature, and growing goats. The web site includes a tool to determine amounts and composition of supplemental concentrate appropriate for particular forages. Also, there is a spread sheet-like application for total mixed rations based on the language PERL, due to its flexibility in database parsing and integration into html, as well as JavaScript. In conclusion, this web-based goat nutrient requirement calculation system should enjoy widespread usage and enhance feeding practices.


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