Twenty-four castrated male British Angora goats of Australasian origin aged 11 months and weighing 23·5 kg live weight were studied in a 112-day experiment. They were allocated in a 2 × 2 factorial design to receive diets containing, per kg dry matter, concentrations of estimated metabolizable energy (ME) of 10·2 M] (LE) or 11·9 MJ (HE) and crude protein concentrations of 108 g (LP) or 180 g (HP). The HE diets were offered to provide a dry-matter intake of 30 g/kg live weight and the LE diets to provide 0·85 of the ME intake of HE diets.
In comparison with LE diets, the HE diets, on average, increased live-weight gain, food conversion efficiency, carcass weight, killing-out proportion, empty body weight, cross-sectional area of m. longissimus dorsi and fat thickness over m. serratus dorsalis and weights in the carcass for dissected lean tissue, crude protein (N × 6·25) and dissected and chemically extracted fat. Weights of shoulder, hind barrel, and best-end joints and their weights of dissected lean and fat were increased on HE diets. No consistent effects due to dietary energy were observed for yield or diameter of mohair fibres.
The greater intake of dietary protein resulted, on average, in increased values for live-weight gain, efficiency of food conversion, carcass weight, weight of dissected carcass lean tissue and crude protein, killing-out proportion and cross-sectional area of m. longissimus dorsi. The greater intake of dietary protein increased significantly both yield and diameter of mohair fibre.
Significant interactions between protein and energy for empty body weight, carcass weight and carcass fat indicated that increasing dietary protein intake had a greater positive effect on the low than on the high energy diets. Similarly, increasing the dietary energy consumption on the LP diets produced a greater positive effect than that recorded on the HP diets.
The results indicated that growth and lean tissue deposition were affected by both protein and energy intakes but that mohair fibre characteristics were affected consistently only by protein nutrition.