Skip to main content Accessibility help

Net mineral requirements of dairy goats during pregnancy

  • C. J. Härter (a1), L. D. Lima (a1), D. S. Castagnino (a1), H. O. Silva (a1), F. O. M. Figueiredo (a1), N. R. St-Pierre (a2), K. T. Resende (a1) and I. A. M. A. Teixeira (a1)...


Mineral requirements of pregnant dairy goats are still not well defined; therefore, we investigated the net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for pregnancy and for maintenance during pregnancy in two separate experiments. Experiment 1 was performed to estimate the net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements in goats carrying single or twin fetuses from 50 to 140 days of pregnancy (DOP). The net mineral requirements for pregnancy were determined by measuring mineral deposition in gravid uterus and mammary gland after comparative slaughter. In total, 57 dairy goats of two breeds (Oberhasli or Saanen), in their third or fourth parturition, were randomly assigned to groups based on litter size (single or twin) and day of slaughter (50, 80, 110 and 140 DOP) in a fully factorial design. Net mineral accretion for pregnancy did not differ by goat breed. The total daily Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for pregnancy were greatest in goats carrying twins (P<0.05), and the requirements increased as pregnancy progressed. Experiment 2 was performed to estimate net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for dairy goat maintenance during pregnancy. In total, 58 dairy goats (Oberhasli and Saanen) carrying twin fetuses were assigned to groups based on slaughter day (80, 110 and 140 DOP) and feed restriction (ad libitum, 20% and 40% feed restriction) in a randomized block design. The net Ca, P and Mg requirements for maintenance did not vary by breed or over the course of pregnancy. The daily net requirements of Ca, P and Mg for maintenance were 60.4, 31.1 and 2.42 mg/kg live BW (LBW), respectively. The daily net Na requirement for maintenance was greater in Saanen goats (11.8 mg/kg LBW) than in Oberhasli goats (8.96 mg/kg LBW; P<0.05). Daily net K requirements increased as pregnancy progressed from 8.73 to 15.4 mg/kg LBW (P<0.01). The findings of this study will guide design of diets with adequate mineral content for pregnant goats throughout their pregnancy.


Corresponding author


Hide All

Present address: UNESP, Univ Estadual Paulista, Department of Animal Science, Jaboticabal, SP 14884-900, Brazil.



Hide All
Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) 1998. Technical committee on responses to nutrients, report 10. The nutrition of goats. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) 1990. Official methods of analysis, 15th edition. AOAC, Arlington, VA, USA.
Bell, AW and Ehrhardt, RA 2000. Regulation of macronutrient partitioning between maternal and conceptus tissues in the pregnant ruminant. In Ruminant physiology: digestion, metabolism, growth, and reproduction (ed. P Cronje and EA Boomker), pp. 275294. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
Carlin, A and Alfirevic, Z 2008. Physiological changes of pregnancy and monitoring. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 22, 801823.
Castagnino, DS, Härter, CJ, Rivera, AR, Lima, LD, Silva, HGO, Biagioli, B, Resende, KT and Teixeira, IAMA 2015. Changes in maternal body composition and metabolism of dairy goats during pregnancy. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 44, 92102.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization 2007. Nutrient requirements of domesticated ruminants. CSIRO Publishers, Collingwood, VIC, Australia.
Costa, RG, Resende, KT, Rodrigues, MT, Espechit, CB and Queiroz, AC 2003. Exigências de minerais para cabras durante a gestação: Na, K, Mg, S, Fe e Zn. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 32, 431436.
Etheridge, RD, Pesti, GM and Foster, EH 1998. A comparison of nitrogen values obtained utilizing the Kjeldahl nitrogen and Dumas combustion methodologies (Leco CNS 2000) on samples typical of an animal nutrition analytical laboratory. Animal Feed Science and Technology 73, 2128.
Forbes, JM 1971. Physiological changes affecting voluntary food intake in ruminants. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 30, 135142.
Fritz, JS and Schenk, GH 1979. Quantitative analytical chemistry, 4th edition. Allyn and Bacon University of Michigan, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Gomes, RA, Oliveira-Pascoa, D, Teixeira, IAMA, de Medeiros, AN, Resende, KT, Yañez, EA and Ferreira, ACD 2011. Macromineral requirements for growing Saanen goat kids. Small Ruminant Research 99, 160165.
Härter, CJ, Castagnino, DS, Rivera, AR, Lima, LD, Silva, HGO, Mendonça, AN, Bonfim, GF, Liesegang, A, St-Pierre, N and Teixeira, IAMA 2015. Mineral metabolism in singleton and twin-pregnant dairy goats. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science 28, 3749.
Irano, N, Bignardi, AB, Rey, FSB, Teixeira, IAMA and Albuquerque, LG 2012. Genetic parameters for milk yield in Saanen and Alpina breed goats. Revista Ciência Agronômica 43, 376381.
Jainudeen, MR and Hafez, ESE 2000. Gestation, prenatal physiology and parturition. In Reproduction in farm animals, 7th edition (ed. B Hafez and ESE Hafez), pp. 140155. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Liesegang, A, Risteli, J and Wanner, M 2007. Bone metabolism of milk goats and sheep during second pregnancy and lactation in comparison to first lactation. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 91, 56.
Lindstrom, ML and Bates, DM 1990. Nonlinear mixed effects models for repeated measures data. Biometrics 46, 673687.
Littell, RC, Milliken, GA, Stroup, WW, Wolfinger, RD and Schabenberger, O 2006. SAS System for mixed models, 2nd edition. Statistical Analysis Systems Iinstitute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.
Lofgreen, GP and Garrett, WN 1968. A system for expressing net energy requirements and feed values for growing and finishing beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 27, 793806.
Mattison, DR, Blann, E and Malek, A 1991. Physiological alterations during pregnancy: impact on toxicokinetics. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 16, 215218.
Mc Coard, S, Sales, F, Wards, N, Sciascia, Q, Oliver, M, Koolaard, J and Linden, D 2013. Parenteral administration of twin-bearing ewes with L-arginine enhances the birth weight and brown fat stores in sheep. SpringerPlus 2, 684.
Meschy, F 2000. Recent progress in the assessment of mineral requirements of goats. Livestock Production Science 64, 914.
National Research Council (NRC) 2001. Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle, 7th revised edition. National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
National Research Council (NRC) 2007. Nutrient requirements of small ruminants: sheep, goats, cervids and new words camelids. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Nelson, DL and Cox, MM 2002. Lehninger: principles of biochemistry, 3rd edition. Worth Publishers, New York, NY, USA.
Rattray, PV, Garrett, WN, East, NE and Hinman, N 1974. Growth, development and composition of the ovine conceptus and mammary gland during pregnancy. Journal of Animal Science 38, 613626.
Resende, KT, Costa, RG, Rodrigues, MT, Espeschit, CJB and Queiroz, AC 1999. Exigências de minerais para cabras SRD durante a gestação: cálcio e fósforo. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 28, 13971402.
Ritar, AJ, Maxwell, WCM and Salamon, S 1984. Ovulation and LH secretion in the goat after intravaginal progestogen sponge-PMSG treatment. Journal of Reproduction & Infertility 72, 559563.
Robertson, JB and Van Soest, PJ 1981. The detergent system of analysis and its application to human foods. In The analysis of dietary fiber in food (ed. WPT James and O Theander), pp. 123158. Marcel Dekker, New York, NY, USA.
Silanikove, N 2000. The physiological basis of adaptation in goats to harsh environments. Small Ruminant Research 35, 181193.
Suttle, NF 2010. The mineral nutrition of livestock, 4th edition. CABI International, Wallingford, UK.
Teixeira, IAMA, Resende, KT, Silva, AMA, Silva Sobrinho, AG, Härter, CJ and Sader, APO 2013. Mineral requirements for growth of wool and hair lambs. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 42, 347353.
Van der Westhuysen, JM 1979. The control of ovarian function in cycling and anoestrus angora goat does. Agroanimalia 11, 2325.
Van Soest, PJ 1994. Nutritional ecology of the ruminant, 2nd edition. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Wilkens, MR, Breves, G and Schröder, B 2014. A goat is not a sheep: physiological similarities and differences observed in two ruminant species facing a challenge of calcium homeostatic mechanisms. Animal Production Science 54, 15071511.
Wiseman, TG and Mahan, DC 2010. Partition of minerals body components from a high- and low-lean genetic line of barrows and gilts from 20 to 125 kilograms of body weight. Journal of Animal Science 88, 33373350.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Härter supplementary material
Supplementary Tables

 Word (33 KB)
33 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed