Evaluation of Atriplex nummulariahay utilization on feed intake, growth and carcass characteristics of creole kids.

Raúl Meneses1*, Gabriel Varela1, Hugo Flores2

There is a surplus of Atriplex nummularia Lindl. grazing that can be used as animal feed. This material was harvested to assess the effects on intake, growth, and carcass characteristics of kids. Atriplex replaced alfalfa hay (Medicago sativa L.) in a proportion of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40% for 60 creole kids weighing 13 kg and was assigned to the diets in a completely randomized design. The process was conducted from March to May. Two males and two females were used from each group to evaluate individual nutrient intake. Height at withers, thoracic diameter, and weight change were evaluated in all the animals. The carcasses of four females per group were evaluated. Offered and rejected hay diet samples, were chemically analyzed. Atriplex hay crude protein (CP), metabolizable energy (ME), chlorine (Cl), and sodium (Na) contents were 20.20%, 1.99 Mcal kg-1, 4.78%, and 6.47% respectively. Hemicellulose (Hc), ash intake, height at withers, thoracic diameter, and carcass component, except for the kidney, were not different (P > 0.05) among treatments. Over 20% of A. nummularia hay content in the diet caused an increase in mineral consumption (P < 0.05). Total body weight gain decreased (P < 0.05) by adding 20% or more A. nummularia hay content in the diet. However, adding up to 20% of A. nummularia hay in the diet did not produce a negative effect and higher percentages decreased weight gains attributable to the high Na and Cl content.

Keywords: Atriplex nummularia, goats, hay.
1Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias INIA, Apartado Postal 36B, La Serena, Chile.*Corresponding author (rmeneses@inia.cl).
2Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias INIA, Casilla 439/3, Santiago, Chile.