Grain excretion by goats fed whole or processed cereals with various roughages
McGregor, B.A. and Whiting, C.J. 2013, Grain excretion by goats fed whole or processed cereals with various roughages, Small ruminant research, vol. 115, no. 1-3, pp. 21-28, doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2013.08.009.
Despite cereal grains being grown on 5 continents where goats are kept, there is little information on the excretion of whole cereal grains when fed to goats. We determined the effects of various dietary treatments on whole grain and starch loss in the faeces of Angora goats. In Experiment 1 there were 4 replicates of the factorial design: (a) 2 grain types (barley, oats); (b) whole grain or processing (milled barley or rolled oats); (c) 2 roughage qualities (Persian clover hay, barley straw); and (d) 2 feeding levels (level 1, 150 g/d of grain, 250 g/d of roughage; level 2, 250 g/d of grain, ad libitum roughage). In Experiment 2, which immediately followed Experiment 1, and aimed to detect carry over effects of previous feeding of barley straw and grain processing, feed levels were either 650 g/d grain or 400 g/d grain with 550 g/d Persian clover hay. Data were analysed by ANOVA. In Experiment 1, processing had no effect on digestible dry matter intake. The number of whole grains lost per 100 g of fresh faeces and whole grains loss as the % of grain dry matter intake were affected by an interaction between processing and roughage quality. Whole grain fed with Persian clover hay had greater grain loss than all other diets. Whole grain loss was greater with whole grain than with processed grain. Level of feeding had no effects on grain loss. In Experiment 2, more whole grains were lost in fresh faeces when fed with Persian clover hay than when fed without hay, an effect of previous feeding with barley straw reduced whole grain excretion, and more barley grains were lost than oat grain. Faecal starch was affected, with higher levels when whole barley grain was fed, particularly with Persian clover hay, or when previously fed barley straw at a high level. Feeding grain at 650 g/d did not increase grain or starch excretion. Whole grains represented a small loss of grain dry matter intake in faeces, averaging 0.8% with a maximum recorded of 2.6%. Faecal concentration of the whole grains may be altered by grain size and the digestibility of the roughage component of the diet. In this study an additional cost of 3% for processing grains would not have provided economic benefits.
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