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Growth of yearling meat goat doelings with changing plane of nutrition

R. Joemat, A. L. Goetsch, G. W. Horn, T. Sahlu, R. Puchala, B. R. Min, and J. Luo

Small Ruminant Research 52:127-135. 2004.

Periods of low rainfall are common in Oklahoma and other western States, as well as in regions of many other countries. An obvious practice to avert decreased productivity in dry periods is supplementary feeding. Hence, livestock producers must compare cost of supplementation with projected effects of not supplementing on current and future productivity. In addition, the maximum length of time with low nutrient intake that can be allowed without impairing future production potential is a consideration. In general, ruminants can partially or completely compensate for an earlier period of slow or no growth or body weight (BW) loss with a low nutritional plane through increased feed intake and(or) more efficient feed utilization. The magnitude and nature of compensatory growth is influenced by numerous factors, among which might be genotype or breed. Therefore, objectives of this experiment were to determine effects on growth performance by yearling Boer × Spanish and Spanish doelings of different lengths of nutrient restriction and levels of supplementation during realimentation. 25 Boer × Spanish (BS) and 25 Spanish (S) yearling doelings (27 and 21 kg initial BW, respectively), were used in a 16-week experiment (four 28-day periods) to determine effects on growth of length of nutrient restriction and level of concentrate supplementation during a subsequent period with a higher nutritional plane (realimentation). Doelings consumed prairie hay (6.2% crude protein) free-choice and received daily supplementation with 0.75% BW of concentrate (30% crude protein; C treatment), sequential 28-day periods of no supplementation and daily supplementation with 1.50 or 0.75% BW of concentrate (H-28 and L-28, respectively) or 56 days without supplementation followed by supplementation for 56 days with 1.50 or 0.75% BW of concentrate (H-56 and L-56, respectively). Average daily gain (ADG) was similar among dietary treatments and between genotypes in period 1. In period 2, ADG was generally lowest among treatments for 56-day restriction treatments, with the difference being greater for BS vs S (24, 34, 41, -63, and -96 g/day for BS, and 6, 13, -5, -40, and -36 g/day for S, with C, H-28, L-28, H-56, and L-56, respectively). In period 3, ADG was similar among dietary treatments for S but was lower with 28- vs 56-day restriction treatments for BS (85, -9, 0, 123, and 112 g/day for BS, and 26, 32, 34, 64, and 68 g/day for S, with C, H-28, L-28, H-56, and L-56, respectively). In period 4, ADG was lower for C vs H-56 and L-56 (39, 53, 71, 87, and 85 g/day with C, H-28, L-28, H-56, and L-56, respectively). Overall ADG in periods 1-4 was similar among dietary treatments for S but was greater for C than for H-28, L-28 and L-56 (57, 28, 26, 46, and 22 g/day for BS, and 18, 24, 29, 35, and 29 g/day for S, with C, H-28, L-28, H-56, and L-56, respectively. In conclusion, growth and development of yearling S doelings appear slightly less susceptible to periods of low nutrient intake compared with BS doelings, indicating a greater importance of a continual adequate plane of nutrition for BS doelings. Realimentation periods of 28 or 56 days with concentrate given at 0.75% BW did not allow ADG by BS doelings to fully compensate for low ADG during feed restriction compared with C, and the same was true for concentrate supplemented at 1.50% BW with 28-day restriction periods. This suggests a longer period for realimentation than restriction necessary to achieve overall ADG similar to doelings continuously on a moderate nutritional plane.


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