Effects of protein and energy supplementation on growth, forage intake, forage digestion and nitrogen balance in meat goat kids. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to further the understanding of the effects of dietary protein and energy supplements on growth, performance, feed intake and grass forage digestibility in growing meat goat wethers. In Experiment 1, an 18% CP complete goat pellet was offered alone (control diet, C) or added (+), or not, as supplement to three grass hays (coastal bermudagrass, CB; Tifton 85 bermudagrass, T; and sorghum-Sudan grass hay, SS), to Boer-cross wethers (n = 72). The resulting seven diets were offered ad libitum. In Experiment 2, four wether goats in metabolism crates were used in a 4 4 Latin square design and fed a SS basal diet ad libitum with treatments consisting of no supplement, supplemental urea (200 mg/kg BW daily), supplemental dextrose (0.2% BW daily), or urea + dextrose (200 mg/kg BW daily and 0.2% BW daily, respectively). In Experiment 1, average daily gain (ADG) were -3.8, -5.0 and -6.6 g/day for goats consuming CB, T and SS, respectively, and 69.2, 61.6 and 58.1 g/day for supplemented CB (CB+), T (T+) and SS (SS+), respectively, as compared to 245.8 g/day for ad libitum access to C. Supplementation in Experiment 1 increased (P < 0.01) ADG for all hays when compared to hay-only diets. In Experiment 2, protein and energy supplementation increased (P < 0.01) nitrogen retention but did not impact diet digestibility. The beneficial effects of supplements in Experiment 1 and the increase in nitrogen retention in Experiment 2 cannot be explained by improvements in ruminal fiber utilization, but could be due to post-ruminal nutrient supply and/or increased ruminal microbial protein synthesis.

published proceedings

  • Animal

author list (cited authors)

  • Patterson, J. M., Lambert, B. D., Muir, J. P., & Foote, A. P.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Patterson, JM||Lambert, BD||Muir, JP||Foote, AP

publication date

  • August 2009