Feeding strategies for the rearing of creole kid goats.

Raúl Meneses R.1, Patricio Pérez M., Julio Pittet D., Patricio Galleguillos R. y María Sol Morales S.

The objective of the study was to study the feasibility of early weaning creole kid goats (Capra hircus) in order to save milk for cheese making. The animals were distributed to four treatments of ten animals each. The treatments were: T1, goat milk feeding twice daily until 61 days of age, and T2, T3 and T4 early weaning at 20, 30 and 40 days of age, respectively. All groups, with the exception of T1, received calf-starting concentrate from day 10 to the end of the study. During the experiment, milk consumption, body weight, daily live weight gain, concentrate intake, food conversion efficiency and true carcass yield were evaluated. The values, with the exception of concentrate intake, were submitted to analysis of variance in a completely randomized design. Milk intake was different (P < 0.05) for T1, T2, T3 and T4: 72.59, 13.71, 26.82 and 39.60 kg, respectively. The final live weight was 11.9, 8.1 and 8.3 kg with a daily live weight gain of 146, 79 and 92 g d-1 for T1, T3 and T4, being T1 significantly different (P < 0.05) from the other groups. T2 was affected by the early weaning and was eliminated from the analysis. The concentrate intake after weaning was 217 and 187 g d-1 for T3 and T4. The early weaned groups showed better food conversion than T1 (P < 0.05), values were 1.27, 2.32 and 2.0 kg DM kg-1 liveweight gain for T1, T3 and T4. True carcass yield was 56.72, 52.51 and 52.82% for T1, T3 and T4, being T1 significantly different (P < 0.05). Under the experimental conditions, it was possible to wean the kids at 30 days of age to save milk. It is important to use a good quality concentrate to increase the intake obtained in this experiment.

Keywords: kid goats, weaning, milk intake, concentrate intake, early weaning.
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Experimental Los Vilos. Casilla 40. Los Vilos, Chile. E-mail: lvilos@inia.cl.