Growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing Boer goats
In developing countries, goat kids are usually reared naturally under extensive conditions, but kids that are fed high concentrate diets generally have higher daily gains, dressing percentage and carcass quality then those produced in extensive system. Feeding of goat kids is the main factor affecting growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing Boer goats. A study was carried out within the framework of the project ‘Zootechnical and economic efficiency of feeding of fodder pulses to ruminant’s meat production’. Eight kids of Boer breed were individually fattened for 60 days under an intensive management system, of which 4 kids received ad libitum concentrated feed of melted grain mix (GG) that was produced in farm and consisted of 25% oats, 25% barley and 50% fodder beans, but 4 kids received pelleted concentrated feed (CG) produced in feed company. Fattening performance, slaughter traits and carcass characteristics were evaluated. The carcasses were analyzed by weight and proportion of tissue: muscle, bone, fat. Daily live weight gain during 60 days of the fattening period was 235 g per day for CG kids, which is by 42.4% greater than for GG group kids (165 g per day (P < 0.05)). Feeding of GG kids by grain mix showed a lower growth rate of kids than feeding by pelleted concentrated feed (31.1 kg and 35.5 kg pre-slaughter, respectively), but had a higher dressing percentage (49.5% and 43.5%, respectively). Consequently, there was no significant difference in carcass weight (14.36 kg and 14.50 kg, respectively). GG carcasses had a higher fat content - 11.8% vs. 9.4%. In terms of the muscle-to-fat ratio, the carcasses of the kids of the two groups were significantly different (P < 0.05), where in the GG group there was 5.0 kg of muscle tissue per kg of fat and in the CG group there was 6.8 kg of muscle tissue. Total feed costs per day per animal and per kg live weight gain were higher in the CG group, as the feed price from a feed company was significantly higher than for farm-based grain meal. The results suggest that diet has an impact on the goat kid growth performance and carcass quality, and in intensive fattening systems it is more profitable to use a self-produced grain mix.