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Seasonal changes in nutrient intake and its utilization by range goats in a semi-arid region of India

  • A. K. SHINDE (a1), S. K. SANKHYAN (a1), R. BHATTA (a1) and D. L. VERMA (a1)

Abstract

This study was carried out from September 1998 to August 1999, by conducting three experiments, one each in the monsoon, winter and summer seasons. The forage availability and botanical composition of native range were obtained. Five 3–4-year-old Kutchi males, weighing 50–55 kg, were used to determine total faecal output, and were observed to allow the diet selected to be sampled by the hand plucking method. Dry matter (DM) yield of range was highest during winter and lowest during monsoon, annual mean being 1611 kg DM/ha. Contribution of shrub foliage to total forage yield in monsoon, winter and summer was 3·81, 1·64 and 9·98%, respectively. Crude protein (CP) content (g/kg DM) of ground vegetation declined from 99 in monsoon to 72 in winter and 66 in summer, while that of top foliage remained similar in all the seasons (mean CP 142 g/kg). Goats consumed a diet of almost the same CP content (mean CP 137 g/kg) in all the seasons. Goats consumed 64·0, 54·0 and 55·9 g DM/kg W0·75/day, in monsoon, winter and summer (annual mean 58·0 g DM/kg W0·75 /day). DM and CP digestibility coefficients were higher in monsoon and summer (mean DM 0·595; CP 0·533) and decreased (P < 0·05) in winter (DM 0·485, CP 0·424). Neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) digestibility coefficients were highest in monsoon (NDF 0·542; ADF 0·446), and declined (P < 0·05) to 0·340 and 0·266 in winter and 0·415 and 0·326 in summer. Digestible crude protein (DCP) intake was almost similar in monsoon and summer (mean 4·6 g/kg W0·75 /day) and declined (P < 0·05) in winter (3·1 g/kg W0·75 /day), while metabolizable energy (ME) intake was higher in monsoon (0·90 MJ/kg W0·75 /day) and declined (P < 0·05) to 0·78 and 0·80 MJ/kg W0·75 /day, in winter and summer, respectively. Average body weight of goats in monsoon, winter and summer was 54·0, 54·6 and 56·5 kg, respectively (annual mean 55·0 kg). It is concluded that goats grazing on a semi-arid rangeland meet their DCP and ME requirement throughout the year.

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Corresponding author

To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: akshinde@cswri.raj.nic.in

Seasonal changes in nutrient intake and its utilization by range goats in a semi-arid region of India

  • A. K. SHINDE (a1), S. K. SANKHYAN (a1), R. BHATTA (a1) and D. L. VERMA (a1)

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