Short Communication: Effect of dietary protein level on growth and body condition score of male Beetal goats during summer
The effects of feeding various dietary protein levels on the fattening of male Beetal goats were investigated. Twenty-seven bucks (initial bodyweight 35 ± 0.5 kg) between 12 and 16 months old were randomly assigned to one of three treatments The treatments, which were provided as isocaloric supplements to 5 kg fresh sorghum fodder, differed in the amount of crude protein (CP), namely i) 18% CP (LP) ii) 25.5% CP (MP) and iii) 31.6% CP (HP). Feed intake and faecal score were recorded daily. Live bodyweight was recorded every 14 days. Wither height, heart girth, body length and body condition score were recorded monthly. Dry matter intake and average daily gain increased linearly with the level of CP in the diet. The average body condition score, wither height and heart girth were significantly greater in for goats in the HP group compared with those in LP and MP groups. However, dietary protein did not affect body length. Thus, feeding higher levels of CP linearly increased the growth, feed intake and feed efficiency of growing Beetal goats. The mean faecal score was lower for goats in the HP group compared with goats in the LP group.
Keywords: average daily gain, body measurements, faecal consistency