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Effects of different quality diets consumed continuously or after a lower quality diet on characteristics of growth of young Spanish goats

T. Wuliji, A. L. Goetsch, T. Sahlu, R. Puchala, S. Soto-Navarro, R. C. Merkel, G. Detweiler, and T. Gipson

E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK

Spanish wether and doeling kids (4.5 mo of age; 13.4 kg initial BW) were used to determine influences of different quality diets consumed continuously or after a lower quality diet on characteristics of growth. The experiment consisted of two 9-wk periods. Diets were low quality forage (L; prairie hay supplemented with soybean meal), high quality forage (H; dehydrated alfalfa pellets), and 70% concentrate (C). Kids on two treatments consumed L in Period 1, with half switched to C and half to H in Period 2 (LC and LH, respectively). The CC treatment entailed C consumption in both periods, and HH kids were fed H in both periods. For HC, H was fed in Period 1 followed by C in Period 2. Dry matter intake ranked (P < 0.05) LC and LH < CC < HC and HH in Period 1 (502, 352, 386, 610, and 636 g/d) and CC and LC < LH, HC, and HH in Period 2 (652, 621, 833, 808, and 836 g/day for CC, LC, LH, HC, and HH, respectively). Average daily gain was lowest among treatments (P < 0.05) for LC and LH in Period 1 (78, 1, -1, 84, and 80 g/d) and was 53, 82, 112, 92, and 73 g/d in Period 2 for CC, LC, LH, HC, and HH, respectively (SE = 11). Empty body fat concentration at the end of Period 1 was greatest for the C diet and lowest for L (P < 0.05; 12.2, 6.4, and 9.0% for C, L, and H, respectively), and protein concentration was greatest among treatments (P < 0.05) for L (16.8, 20.1, and 18.1% for C, L, and H, respectively). At the end of Period 2, empty body fat concentration was 22.0, 15.9, 14.4, 20.1, and 15.2% (SE = 1.94), and protein concentration was 16.8, 16.9, 17.9, 16.5, and 17.6% (SE = 0.35) for CC, LC, LH, HC, and HH, respectively). In summary, kids on the L diet in Period 1 mobilized fat to accrete a small amount of protein. Continuous consumption of C resulted in high fat accretion relative to H in both periods. Consumption of H in Period 1 followed by C in Period 2 resulted in growth characteristics slightly different from those with continual intake of C, with a lower concentration of protein in accreted tissue for HC. The diet in Period 2 for kids previously consuming L did not markedly affect tissue accretion. In conclusion, the nature of the diet consumed by young Spanish goats can impact current and subsequent rate and composition of BW gain.


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