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Sericia lespedeza for grazing goats

S. P. Hart, T. A. Gipson, and T. Sahlu

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

Spanish stocker goats were grazed on a pasture of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) to determine animal performance and the effects of sex and initial weight on performance. Eighty female and eighty wether Spanish kids weighing from 15 to 30 kg were used. Goats grazed from May 20 to September 27 on a 16 ha pasture of sericea lespedeza. Goats were dewormed, eartagged, vaccinated (enterotoxemia and tetanus) and weighed before turning into the pasture. Goats gained 10 kg for the 130-day grazing period. Weight gains were lower (P<.10; 1.2 kg vs 3.0 kg) for the second month of the study as compared with the other months. The amount of weight gained was not affected by sex or initial body weight (P>.05). Fecal egg counts increased linearly (p>.05) over the grazing study but averaged only 300 eggs per gram at the end of the study. Spanish kids gained well on sericea lespedeza and could graze the whole summer without being dewormed. Neither sex nor initial weight were important factors in determining animal performance on sericea lespeceza. Sericea lespedeza, since it is a low-input crop, has potential to provide economical gains for goats.


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