Effects of grain sources and feeding methods, free-choice vs total mixed ration, on milk yield and composition of German Fawn x Hair crossbred goats in mid lactation
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Çukurova University, Agricultural Faculty, Department of Animal Science, 01330 Adana, Turkey
M. Görgülü   

Çukurova University, Agricultural Faculty, Department of Animal Science, 01330 Adana, Turkey
Publication date: 2004-06-16
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2004;13(3):417–428
The present study was designed to: 1. test whether lactating goats could select a nutritionally adequate diet when offered an unrestricted choice among feed ingredients, 2. asses whether the goats change their diet preferences according to the source of grain and, 3. determine whether the choice feeding compared with a TMR would alter the lactating performance and also milk composition of German Fawn × Hair crossbred goats during mid lactation. A total 36 goats was allocated to 4 experimental groups with three replicates, comprising three goats each for a 9-week-period, including one week training period for choice-fed goats. The treatment groups were: 1. ad libitum total mixed ration with barley (BTMR; containing 40% lucerne hay and 60% concentrate consisted of ground barley, soyabean meal and wheat bran); 2. choice feeding (BCF) among the feed ingredients of the BTMR; 3. ad libitum total mixed ration with maize grain (MTMR; containing 40% lucerne hay and 60% concentrate consisted of ground maize, soyabean meal and wheat bran); 4. choice feeding (MCF) among the feed ingredients of the MTMR. The results showed that feeding method had significant effects on dry matter (DMI; P<0.06), crude fibre (P<0.01), ADF and NDF intakes (P<0.01), but grain source and the interaction of factors had no significant effects on nutrient intake, milk yield and liveweight change. Milk composition was not affected by feeding methods, grain sources and their interaction. The diet selected by goats in MCF and BCF contained less lucerne, but more wheat bran than their corresponding TMRs. The selected diets had higher metabolizable energy, less CF, ADF and NDF than the TMRs. Grain sources also had significant effects on diet selection by goats; the diet selected in BCF had higher fibre than those selected in MCF. It was concluded that lactating goats can select their diet according to their nutrient requirements when they are given choice among feed ingredients. It was also concluded that the goats could consume high level concentrate (75-77%) without having any metabolic problem and they could shift their selection according to the grain source and also the period of experiment.
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