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Influence of grain supplements during winter on liveweight, mohair growth and mohair quality of weaner Angora goats

journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-11, 00:00 authored by Bruce McGregor, R Harris, G Denney
To identify methods to improve growth and mohair production of weaned Angora goats (mean liveweight 18-20 kg) during their first winter, two supplementary feeding experiments using whole-grain barley and lupins were conducted on a farm in southern New South Wales, in a region where weaner illthrift had been reported. Experiment 1 was a 2×2 + 1 factorial with 16 replicate goats; two feeding levels (115 or 230 g/day of whole-barley grain)× two periods of feeding (4 or 8 weeks) + Control (grazing only). Experiment 2 had five treatments × 13 replicate goats; three treatments fed 230 g/day of whole-barley grain for periods of 2 or 3 months and two treatments fed a 50:50 mixture of lupin and barley grain at 350 g/day for 2 or 4 months. Goats were individually fed and then all returned together for grazing. There were no effects of feeding in Experiment 1 and variations of feeding 230 g/day of barley in Experiment 2 provided no benefit. Feeding lupin/barley for 4 months increased liveweight (gain 59 g/day), mohair production, mohair fibre diameter and the incidence of medullated fibre. About 25% of this ration was not eaten by eight goats, reducing treatment average intake to 295 g/day. By the end of spring, there was no difference in treatment liveweights. Regression constants indicated that for each 1 μm increase in mean fibre diameter, greasy fleece weight increased 35 g and for each 1 kg increase in pre-shearing liveweight, greasy fleece weight increased 26 g. The results show that Angora weaner goats can grow during winter, provided their energy and protein needs for growth are met. Improved pasture management and higher levels of supplementary feeding to weaned Angoras are indicated compared with current practices on farms in Australia.

History

Journal

Animal production science

Volume

50

Issue

6

Pagination

593 - 598

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Collingwood, Vic.

ISSN

1836-0939

eISSN

1836-5787

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, CSIRO

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