The effect of level and length of grower ration supplementation on chevon production, carcass characteristics and return over feed cost

Cynthia Michelle Pierfax, Tennessee State University


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect grower/finisher ration supplementation level and the period it was administered on chevon production, carcass traits and the net return from crossbred meat goats. Joy forage chicory was planted for pasture on 0.8 ha of land. Subsequently, the pasture was divided into eight equal fenced 0.1 ha plots. On June 21, 2007, forty F1 intact and weaned male crossbred goats, (varying genotypes of Kiko x Boer, Boer x Spanish, and Spanish x Boer), were blocked by bodyweight and genotype and divided into four treatment groups. Each treatment group was supplemented with grower ration for a variable length of time. Each treatment group was replicated in two 0.1 ha plots of chicory pasture with five kids per plot. Each treatment group was then supplemented with identical total amounts of grower/finisher ration (28.0 kg) spread out for 0 (control), 45, 90 or 135 day and had free access to a mineral/vitamin supply. Forty-five days post feeding, animals in the 0, 45, 90 and 135 days treatment groups consumed grower/finisher ration equivalent to 0, 3.1, 2.4, or 1.7% of their initial body weights. The data was analyzed at 45 days post feeding to evaluate the effect of level of grower/finisher ration. At the end of the 135-day feeding period, the data was analyzed to evaluate the effect of length of grower/finisher ration supplementation. With regard to effect of supplementation level, no significant difference was found between the 1.7, 2.4 or 3.1% body weight levels. As supplementation levels increased, however, ADG, TLWG, grower ration efficiency and net return declined. This indicated that an optimum level of supplementation exists between 1.7 and 2.4% bodyweight levels. HCW, BLL, BLSH and BLRC were lowest for the non-supplemented group. When labor costs were not accounted for, it benefited the producer to supplement the goats for a longer period of time (+4.07, +6.44 and +9.88 dollars for the 45, 90 and 135-day groups). Boneless retail cuts from the loin, leg, shoulder and rack was significantly higher for the 135 days group while the other groups were not significantly different. However, once labor cost were factored in, the producer significantly lost more net return (-1.06, -2.54, and -3.63 dollars for groups 45, 90 and 135 days, respectively) by feeding the goats the longer (135 days) period.^

Subject Area

Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Cynthia Michelle Pierfax, "The effect of level and length of grower ration supplementation on chevon production, carcass characteristics and return over feed cost" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1456759.