self-limiting complete feed changes forage intake and animal performance of growing meat goats
Rangeland or hay-based finishing systems often do not allow kids to reach slaughter weights of 30 - 50 kg by 12 months. This study determined the effects of a complete feed (CF) and a self-limiting complete feed (LCF) alone or in combination with ad libitum access to sorghum-sudan hay (SS) on average daily gain (ADG) and cost of gain of Boer cross doelings. Thirty kids (21.1 kg) were randomly assigned to one of five treatments (SS, CF, LCF, SS + CF, and SS + LCF). The ADG over 63 days was greater for all treatments with CF and LCF when compared with SS (21.8, 152, 123, 181, and 172 g/d for SS, CF, LCF, SS + CF and SS + LCF, respectively). In this experiment, traditional and self-limiting supplements for forage-fed goats were useful in increasing ADG and controlling supplement intake when compared with supplement feeding alone. There were no statistical differences between the costs of gain for the five treatments. Finishing systems that promote gains of 4.6 to 7.3 times those of hay-only systems should be attractive to producers.
Keywords: Forages, supplementation, small ruminant, intake limiter
South African Journal of Animal Science Vol. 36 (4) 2006: pp. 257-260