There is a paucity of literature characterizing response to varying levels of feed intake in goats. A controlled experiment was designed at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) with purebred goats, to measure feed intake, and its subsequent effects on growth of different goat genotypes when raised intensively. Two goat populations, the Spanish (SP) and the Tennessee Stiff-legged (TS) were fed three levels: 100% or ad libitum, 85% and 70% of ad libitum, of the same ration containing 180 g CP/kg and 65% ME. Daily feed intake, bi-weekly growth weights, orts and faeces were collected until yearling age. Feed intake, in intermediate sized SP (67.7 kg), was equal to that of small sized TS (66.7 kg), at 13 months. Feed efficiency calculated for SP and TS breeds, respectively, from weaning to six months was 0.122 vs. 0.167 kg and from 9 to 13 months was 0.088 vs. 0.104 kg), and differed significantly from each other. This implies that the TS breed was more efficient in converting feed into weight gain compared to the SP breed. Knowledge of the interaction between feed intake, genotype and subsequently, body composition changes will help characterize growth curves in goats.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher