Predicting the growth and feed intake of Boer goats in a feedlot system

Author: T.S. Brand, D.A. Van Der Merwe, E. Raffrenato & L.C. Hoffman
Year: 2020
Issue: 4
Volume: 50
Page: 492 - 500

This research sought to develop a mathematical model to predict the growth and feed intake of Boer goat kids destined for slaughter. Data were collected from castrated kids that were housed in individual pens and fed diets that varied in energy content (11.3, 12.0, and 12.7 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)/kg feed). Growth and feed intake were monitored weekly for 20 weeks, from the time that the kids weighed 22.2 ± 3.5 kg until they were slaughtered at 48.3 ± 0.8 kg. The linear equation (bodyweight = 0.202 age – 5.241 (R2 = 0.84)) was found to predict the growth of kids between 126 and 266 days old. Correlations between expressions of intake and bodyweight were evaluated, cumulative feed intake and bodyweight being most highly correlated (r = 0.93). Linear models were developed to predict cumulative feed intake from bodyweight for goats fed each diet. Regression coefficients were compared between diets, with the slope of the equation for goats on the low energy diet (6.74 ± 0.25) being greater than that of the medium (5.80 ± 0.23) and high energy diets (5.82 ± 0.23). This indicates that goats on the medium and high energy diets gained weight more efficiently than those on the low energy diet. The results from this study can be used by goat producers to predict the growth and intake of goats and determine the ideal feedlot finishing period for optimal productivity.

Keywords: cumulative intake, Dietary energy, modelling
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