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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2006 Jul;38(5):443-9.

The effect of supplementation on productive performance of Boer goat bucks fed winter veld hay.

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IICT, Lisbon, Portugal.


Fifteen Boer goat bucks, (6-8 months old), were allocated into two groups and fed ad libitum for a period of 29 days. The WH group (winter hay; n = 8) received a chopped diet consisting of grass hay, predominantly Themeda trianda grass (cut during the winter) from a natural pasture (veld). The WH+S group (winter hay plus supplement; n = 7) received a chopped diet consisting of Themeda trianda veld hay, supplemented with maize meal, molasses meal and urea. Body weights and feed consumption were recorded. Animals were slaughtered and carcass characteristics (weight and percentages of selected carcass cuts) and the carcass chemical composition were determined. The WH+S animals showed a higher live weight and cumulated feed intake. Carcass cuts from WH animals represented a higher percentage of the total carcass, especially cuts where muscle depots are higher (legs, best end chops and prime cuts). There is an attempt by non-supplemented animals to preserve the body's nitrogen reserves under prolonged nutritional stress conditions, and there is consequently a necessity to supplement feeding of small ruminants fed winter veld hay, especially if the animals are to be used in subsequent breeding seasons.

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