Thursday, May 15, 2008

Keep goats cool

Turkish researchers used 32 crossbred (75% Alpine x 25% Hair) male goat kids (4 months old) to determine the effects of cooling on fattening performance and carcass quality. The goats were allocated into four experimental groups with eight kids each.

goats eating feedTotal feed intake was affected by ventilation and shower and their interaction effects. Daily gain and final weight were affected by ventilation and ventilation x shower interaction. Feed intake increased with shower and ventilation application.

The kids which experienced cooling had higher dressing percentages, carcass weights, muscle growth, and fat deposits than the control ones. The taste and tenderness of boiled and fried meat samples taken from the kids cooled with showering was better than those of ventilation treatment groups.

The study showed that cooling with ventilation provides better fattening and meat quality for kids kept under hot and humid climatic conditions. Economical analysis also supported the findings, as goats that were kept cool with ventilation produced $19 more profit than goats that were not kept cool.

Source: Small Ruminant Research Journal. March 2008.