Influence of Creep Feeding on Kid Growth and Dam Health in Multiple Meat Goat Breeds and Their Crosses

Emily Hayes, Tennessee State University


Creep feeding in meat goats was studied to assess its effects on kid and dam performance. Kids across three years were creep-fed (n = 254) or not creep-fed (n = 255) from 30 to 90 d of age. Creep-fed kids had higher ( P < 0.05) weights at 60 d of age and weaning than kids that were not creep-fed. Creep kids also had a higher (P < 0.05) ADG and market value than those not on creep feed. However, market value was not significantly improved by creep feeding after adjusting for feed costs. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in conformation score or survival rates between the treatment groups. Within multi-kid litters, creep kids had lower (P < 0.05) FAMACHA scores than non-creep kids. Creep feeding did not affect FAMACHA scores among single-raised kids. Dams of the creep (n = 175) and no creep (n = 178) kids were also evaluated to measure their performance. Treatment did not affect (P > 0.05) dam body weight change, litter weights, litter value at weaning, fecal egg counts, metabolic efficiency and production efficiency. Treatment modified ( P < 0.05) the effect of litter size on packed cell volume (PCV). In the non-creep group, dams raising multi-kid litters had lower PCV than dams rearing single kids. The litter size effect on dam PCV was no evident (P > 0.05) in the creep-fed group. Overall, creep feeding improved kid performance, but did not generally improve dam traits. Though creep feeding improved kid weight and market value, it cannot be assumed to also increase profitability because of the costs associated with implementing a creep feeding program.

Subject Area

Animal sciences

Recommended Citation

Emily Hayes, "Influence of Creep Feeding on Kid Growth and Dam Health in Multiple Meat Goat Breeds and Their Crosses" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10842822.