Macromineral requirements for the maintenance and growth of Boer crossbred kids.
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Advances in mineral nutrition of goats have been made during the last decade, especially in our understanding of Ca and P requirements. However, few studies have focused on the mineral requirements of crossbred Boer goats in their growth phase. Our objective for this study was to determine the macromineral (Ca, P, Mg, K, and Na) requirements for the maintenance and growth of intact, male three-fourths Boer one-fourth Saanen kids (n = 34; 20.5 0.24 kg of initial BW). Two trials were conducted: 1 for maintenance and 1 for growth requirements. In the maintenance trial, 28 kids were used. The baseline (BL) group consisted of 7 randomly selected kids averaging 21.2 0.36 kg BW and 122 d old. The remaining kids (n = 21; age 168 5 d) were randomly allocated into 7 slaughter groups (blocks) including 3 animals distributed among 3 amounts of DMI (treatments: ad libitum and restricted to 70 or 40% of ad libitum intake). Animals in a group were slaughtered when the ad libitum-treatment kid in the block reached 35 kg BW. The BL and ad libitum-fed groups in the maintenance trial were also part of the growth trial. Therefore, in the growth trial, 20 kids fed for ad libitum intake were used as follows: 7 kids slaughtered at 21.2 0.36 kg BW (BL), 6 kids slaughtered at 28.2 0.39 kg BW (intermediate slaughter), and 7 kids slaughtered at 35.6 0.36 kg BW. Empty whole bodies of the kids (head + feet, hide, internal organs + blood, and carcass) were weighed, ground, mixed, and subsampled for chemical analyses. Daily maintenance requirements, calculated using the comparative slaughter technique (P < 0.001), were estimated as 32.3 1.1 mg Ca, 30.8 1.2 mg P, 1.31 0.5 mg Mg, 8.41 3.0 mg K, and 5.14 1.0 mg Na/kg of empty BW (EBW). Net requirements for growth increased from 6.2 to 6.6 g Ca, 5.3 to 5.4 g P, and 0.29 to 0.30 g Mg and decreased from 1.20 to 1.07 g K and 0.65 to 0.59 g Na/kg of EBW gain for kids from 20 to 35 kg BW. This study indicated that the net mineral requirements for Boer crossbred goat kids may be different from those of purebred or other genotypes, and more data are needed for goats in general.