Last update: August 15, 2011 09:00:14 AM E-mail Print


Energy expenditure in confined goats and sheep using isotopic bicarbonate.

M.J. Herselman, T. Sahlu, S.P. Hart, K. Tesfai and S. W. Coleman.

E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Oklahoma and USDA-ARS,

Grazingland Research Laboratory, El Reno, Oklahoma.


The objective of this study was to determine energy expenditure in different breeds of small ruminants in confined conditions. Energy expenditure was measured by the carbon dioxide entry rate technique in 6 Alpine, 6 Angora and 6 Spanish goats and 6 Suffolk x Rambouillet sheep kept indoors in individual pens. This was done by continuous infusion of NaH13CO3 and continuous collection of saliva to measure equilibrium levels of isotopic CO2 in the body. Body weight, feed intake, CO2 entry rate (ER) and energy expenditure (BE) in Alpine (ALP), Angora (ANG) and Spanish (SPN) goats and Suffolk x Rambouillet sheep (SHP) are summarized in the table below.


Body weight, kg 32.8 32.8 33.1 29.3 .96 .0357
Feed intake, 55.2 41.7 25.1 49.8 6.2 .0150
ER, 32.3 24.6 19.0 28.5 1.9 .0011
EE, 156 122 98 139 8.0 .0011


A linear relationship existed between feed intake and energy expenditure (P < 0.01; r2 = 0.902). Therefore, much of the difference in energy expenditure due to breeds could be explained by differences in intake, but not all.



J. Anim. Sci. (Suppl 1), 186