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Carcass Weight, Dressing Percentage, and Lean Tissue Components of Fall Born Spanish Kids Fed Forage or High Concentrate Diets

T. Wuliji1, A. L. Goetsch1, R. Puchala1, S. Soto-Navarro1, R. Merkel1, G. Detweiler1, T. Sahlu1, and A. Litherland2

1E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, 2AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North, New Zealand

The manipulation of seasonal reproduction in goats for fall kidding allows for marketing of young meat goats during Christmas and Easter holiday seasons. Although meat goats are often reared on low to moderate planes of nutrition, high quality diets may be desirable for production of out-of-season meat goats. Fifty-eight (29 males and 29 females) fall born (October) Spanish kids with an initial average BW of 13.5 kg were used in an experiment with two 9-wk feeding phases (I and II) and individual housing. Goats consumed ad libitum prairie hay (L), dehydrated alfalfa pellets (M), or a 70% concentrate diet (H), either throughout the 18-wk experiment (MM and HH) or with a diet change at the beginning of Phase II (LM, LH, and MH). Four goats per treatment were slaughtered at the end of Phase II. Body weight, hot and chilled carcass weights, and dressing percentage were determined. Percentages of lean, fat, and bone tissues in selected primal cuts (leg, rack, and loin of a half carcass) were calculated from dissected weights. Body weight of slaughtered animals was 22.3 (SE 1.5), 19.7 (SE 1.8), 20.9 (SE 2.2), 24.6 (SE 1.7), and 23.3 (SE 1.7), and mean dressing percentage was 49.2 (SE 1.4), 47.8 (SE 0.5), 43.5 (SE 0.6), 47.8 (SE 1.1), and 45.8% (SE 1.1) for HH, LH, LM, MH, and MM, respectively, being greater for treatments consuming H vs M in Phase II. Chilled carcass weight was less (P < 0.05) for LM and LH than for MM, MH, and HH (10.9, 9.1, 8.7, 11.4, and 10.2 kg for HH, LH, LM, MH, and MM, respectively). Lean, fat, and bone percentages of the leg, rack, and loin, respectively, were 63.6, 16.4, and 20.6% for HH; 67.0, 12.1, and 20.8% for LH; 67.0, 10.4, and 22.6% for LM; 62.5, 17.6, and 19.9% for MH; and 66.6, 11.6, and 21.7% for MM, respectively. The fat component of dissected primal cuts was greater (P < 0.05) for goats on H than M in Phase II. In conclusion, dehydrated alfalfa pellets supported a rate of growth of Spanish kids as rapid as that with a concentrate-based diet, both with a constant nutritional plane and after consumption of low quality forage. High concentrate diets appear to promote fattening beyond what would be expected from the rate of growth.


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