Seventy-seven mature Tswana goats were used to investigate the effect of supplementation on reproduction of wet season kidding animals. Treatments groups with similar weights were: Unsupplemented Control (UC), Continuous Supplementation (CS), Before Rain Supplementation (BRS) and After Rain Supplementation (ARS). Fertility rate, kidding rate, kid survival rate and doe weight at weaning were similar between the three treatments and the control. Kid birth weights did not differ between treatment groups. Doe parturition weight was higher in CS and lowest in BRS. Kid average daily gain (ADG) and weaning weight were significantly higher for CS and ARS while they ranked low, but similar between BRS and the control groups. Among ARS animals, doe parturition weight and kidsâ€™ birth weight were positively correlated. Kid birth weight was positively correlated with growth rate in the ARS treatment. Productivity index (PI) for CS was high but similar to that of ARS. However, PI’s for BRS, ARS and the control groups were similar. Average daily gain (104.0±4.3 vs. 69.8±2.8 g/d) differed between singles and multiples. Survival rates were similar (91.9 vs. 93.9%) between multiples and singles. This study demonstrated that supplementary feeding can offset the detrimental effects of both maternal and offspring undernutrition during the critical stages of the reproductive cycle of goats.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher