Fattening mature indigenous (Matabele) goats: effects on animal performance, body and carcass composition
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/70829
Complete cereal-based diets, containing either 50, 33, 22, or 10 veld hay (9. 7, 10.3, 11.6, and 12.1 MJ ME/kg DM, respectively) were fed to 40 wethers, to achieve a target body mass gain of 10 kg by 230 days. Ten animals were slaughtered at the start of the experiment to determine initial carcass mass and the body and carcass composition. for animals which attained the target, slaughter mass growth rate and feed intake were similar between diets. Animals fed the 22 per cent hay diet outperformed the others in terms of mean body mass gain feed conversion ratio. Means of performance traits had high coefficients of variation and it is suggested that the heterogeneity of the sample population may have masked treatment effects.Compared to the preliminary slaughter group, carcass mass and yield was significantly (P<0.05) increased by feeding as was fat deposition in both visceral and carcass depots. The quantity of fat deposited appeared to be positively related to dietary energy concentration.