Saturday, January 3, 2009

Feeding goats in confinement

Researchers at Kansas State University evaluated the effect of concentrate level in the diet on the performance of meat goats fed in confinement. Pen configuration (behavior) was also examined.

Feeding goats in confinementOne hundred and eighty-one (181) mostly wether Boer x Spanish kids (38.7 +5.1 lbs.) were randomly allocated to twelve groups. The goats were fed in groups of 15-16 animals in outside concrete pens, with or without an elevated loafing area (an 18H x 30W x 60L concrete structure placed in the middle of the pen). They were fed diets ad libitum twice daily for 126 days.

Dry matter intake and feed efficiency increased linearly as the proportion of concentrate in the diet increased (50, 70 or 90%). Average daily gain and final body weight was greatest for goats fed 70 percent concentrate. Presence of an elevated loafing area in the pen tended to decrease dry matter intake.

Source: The Professional Animal Scientist, December 2008.