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Effect of PEG supplementation of goats grazing shinnery oak pastures in Western Oklahoma

R. C. Merkel1, A. L. Goetsch1, R. Blackwell2, M. Mosely3, S. Hart1, and T. Sahlu1

1E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK 73050
2U.S. Forest Service, USDA/Black Kettle National Grassland, Cheyenne, OK
3Natural Resource Conservation Service, 100 USDA Suite 206, Stillwater, OK

One hundred twenty-nine goats were used in a 112d trial evaluating the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to bind dietary tannins found in browse species in western Oklahoma. Three goat breeds were used: 73 Angora (A), 36 males (initial BW 29.6 ± 2.74 kg) and 37 females (initial BW 28.8 ± 2.64 kg); 24 75% Boer × 25% Spanish females (B; initial BW 35.6 ± 3.00 kg); and 32 Spanish males (S; initial BW 34.5 ± 1.41 kg). Animals were divided into four groups of 32, 32, 32 and 33 animals with equal numbers of B, S and A with the exception of one group that had 19 rather than 18 A. All animals received 88 g of a corn-based supplement daily with goats on the PEG treatment receiving an additional 25 g of PEG. Eight shinnery oak paddocks, six to seven acres in size, were used to pasture the goats. Goats rotated between their two assigned pastures every 28 days after weighing. Supplements were not consistently consumed by any group, possibly due to the high forage availability and dustiness of the supplement, and consumption estimated visually averaged between 50 and 65% of that offered. There was no effect of treatment on ADG (control 54 g/d, PEG 62 g/d; SE = 9.92). Angora goats gained less (P < 0.01) than B or S animals (28, 70 and 76 g/d, respectively; SE = 4.1). Results indicate that goats can gain weight grazing shinnery oak pastures at a low stocking rate. Inadequate consumption of PEG may have resulted in a non-significant treatment effect.


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