Milk production of Tswana goats fed diets containing different levels of energy
AbstractThe aim of this experiment was to characterize the milk yield of the Tswana goat of Botswana. Twenty-one Tswana goat does were allocated to one of three diets formulated to provide energy for maintenance and a milk yield of either 1.5 kg/d, 1.0 kg/d or 0.5 kg/d. Intake, milk yield and kid growth rate was monitored for 14 weeks. Dry matter intakes of up to 5% of body weight were recorded. Energy intake and milk yield differed between treatments (p < 0.01). Daily ME intake for the low, medium and high-energy diets was 1.01, 1.42 and 1.64 MJ ME/kg metabolic weight; the corresponding milk yields were 0.47, 0.53 and 0.72 kg/day. Kid birth weight ranged from 2.6 to 2.9 kg, and daily gains over the 14-week period were 95, 116 and 128 g/day for the low, medium and high energy diets respectively. Milk output accounted for 62% of the variation in kid growth rate. It was concluded that Tswana goats have the potential to respond to increasing levels of energy intake by increasing milk yield to relatively high levels.
(South African Journal of Animal Science: 2000, 30(1): 77-81)