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Dietary protein effects on and the relationship between milk production and mohair growth in Angora does

T. Sahlu, H. Carneiro, H. M. El Shaer, J. M. Fernandez, S. P. Hart, and A. L. Goetsch

Small Ruminant Research 33:25-36. 1999.

Recently farmers in the central and midwestern U.S. have shown interest in using traditional crops and land for production of mohair from Angora goats as a means of diversification. Angora goats are valued primarily for mohair production, but income also arises from the sale of kids. Thus, there is need for both high milk production to promote maximal kid live weight gain and an ample supply of nutrients to skin for rapid mohair growth. However, wool growth is markedly decreased in lactation because of nutrient partitioning to the mammary gland for milk synthesis. Angora goats are the highest fleece-producing ruminant on a body weight basis; therefore, there also may be a negative relationship between milk production and fiber growth in Angora goats, although one has yet to be reported or characterized. Relatively low milk production by Angora goats and a short lactation period indicate that lactation could impact mohair growth differently than that of sheep wool. Furthermore, to avert or minimize a potential decrease in mohair growth as a result of a priority for nutrient use by the mammary gland, and because requirements for amino acids, particularly those containing sulfur, are high in Angora goats, an increased level of dietary crude protein may be beneficial. In this regard, increasing dietary crude protein level has increased mohair production by nonlactating Angora goats, as has skin perfusion of amino acids. Hence, the primary objectives of this study were to measure the relationship between, and dietary crude protein level effects on, milk production and mohair growth by Angora does in different periods of lactation. Based on results of this experiment, milk production by Angora does in wk 3 through 16 of lactation increased linearly with increasing crude protein level in a diet with a high concentrate level. Crude protein intake was correlated with milk production but not with live weight gain or mohair growth. Milk production and mohair growth were negatively related in mid-lactation but not in early or late stages, but dietary crude protein level did not alter the relationship between milk production and mohair growth. Under our conditions, varying the dietary crude protein level did not overcome effects of partitioning of nutrients to milk synthesis in lactating Angora does or increase mohair growth by increasing skin nutrient supply.


 

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