Effects of heat stress on goat production
C. D. LuSmall Ruminant Research 2:151-162. 1989.
Goats with production demands are susceptible to heat stress in spite of heat resistant characteristics. Depression of feed intake and reduction in production are commonly observed in heat-stressed goats. Upper critical temperatures for goats in maintenance are 25 to 30C, but this has not been fully established for growing and lactating goats. Effects of heat stress on intake, digestibility, and rate of passage in goats are discussed. Guidelines for nutritional manipulation attempting to alleviate heat stress in goats remain to be established. Balancing rations according to reduced level of production, reducing dietary forage to grain ratio, feeding fat, supplementing sodium bicarbonate and other minerals, and maximizing cold water intake may be beneficial forheat-stressed goats. However, validity of these approaches needs to be verified by further research.
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