Last update: April 19, 2011 11:18:58 AM E-mail Print




MJ Herselman,

T Sahlu* & S P Hart

*E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, USA



Correct feeding of dairy goats during pregnancy is important to obtain maximum milk production after partus. Knowledge about increased energy  expenditure at different stages of gestation would contribute to optimise  energy feeding. The objective of this study was therefore to determine energy expenditure at different stages of gestation in dairy goats. Energy expenditure was measured by the carbon dioxide entry rate technique in 11 non-pregnant Alpine (NP) does, as well as in pregnant does at 10 weeks (3 goats; P10), 15 weeks (6 goats; P15) and 20 weeks (4 goats; P20) of gestation. All animals were allowed free access to a complete dairy goat diet. Only data of pregnantanimals carrying twins were used due to a lack of does with single fetuses. Body weight differed (P < 0.01) among the various groups and were 47.7 ± 3.0,54.4 ± 5.8, 66,7 ± 4.1 and 66.5 ± 5.0 kg for NP, P10, P15 and P20 respectively. Feed intake per metabolic weight was 36.2 ± 7.0, 39.7 ± 13.4, 44.8 ± 9.5 and 47.0 ± 11.6 for the respective groups. These feed intake values were extremely low due to stress imposed by the surgical procedure. Energy L. expenditure did not differ among groups and were 137 ± 6, 148 ± 12, 157 ± 8 and 158 ± 10 for the respective groups. A linear relationship: existed between feed intake and energy expenditure (P < 0.0001; r2 = 0.724). Most of the variation in energy expenditure could be explained by variation in feed intake, although energy expenditure tended to increase as pregnancy progressed.



Proc. S.A. Soc. Anim. Prod. 34, 112