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Increasing the productivity of smallholder owned goats through supplementation with tree fruits

  • T. Smith (a1), E. Owen (a1), I. Mueller-Harvey (a1), J. L. N. Sikosana (a2) and V. Mlambo (a3)...

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Production from smallholder owned goats in the semi-arid tropics is constrained by dry season feed shortages. Kid mortality is high and low growth rate of kids weaned at the onset of the dry season delays slaughtering of males and breeding in females. Supplementation with purchased feed is unaffordable so only locally available, probably non-conventional feeds can be considered. In Southern Zimbabwe, the typical natural vegetation in communal grazing areas consists of annual and perennial grasses and trees and shrubs, many of which are Acacia species. In this project tree fruits, from Acacia and other available species were evaluated as dry season protein supplements for goats.

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