Determining growth performance implications on meat goat kids fed soybean hull or corn based pelleted diets
The meat goat industry is rapidly expanding yet there is limited knowledge on feeding kids to market weight, providing opportunities for research in this area. This study investigates the option of an alternative energy source to corn for a growing kid ration. Eighty-four Boer × Spanish kids (30 kg; 8 mo) were used in a randomized complete block design to determine the effects of a soybean hull based diet on growth performance and blood serum mineral composition. Kids were blocked by sex and randomly assigned to one of two treatments: 1) corn and soybean meal based pellet (Corn) or 2) soybean hull and soybean meal based pellet (Soyhull). Kids were allowed a 10-d pen and diet adaptation period. Feed was delivered once daily at 0600 with daily intake adjustments to maintain ad libitum intake of pellets and brome hay for 70 d. There were 7 pens per treatment with 6 head per pen; sex was divided equally between treatments. Weights for all kids were recorded every 2 weeks. Pellet and hay grab samples were collected daily, composited by 2-week period, oven dried, and ground to be analyzed for DM, Ash, N, NDF, and ADF. Blood samples were taken on d0, d28, and d70 and serum was analyzed for levels of Na, K, Cl, Ca, P, and Mg. Initial body weight was similar (P = 0.24) between treatments. Body weights remained similar (P ≥ 0.12) between treatments for each weigh date for the entire 70-d feeding period. Overall gain and ADG were likewise not different (P ≥ 0.18) between treatments. Kids consuming the Soyhull diet had greater (P ≤ 0.001) DMI throughout the study compared to kids consuming the Corn diet. Overall DMI averaged 1.37 kg.hd-1.d-1 versus 1.06 kg.hd-1.d-1 for the kids consuming the Soyhull and Corn diets respectively. No differences (P ≥ 0.44) were observed for blood serum mineral composition between treatments. Based on these results soybean hulls are a viable alternative feed source to corn for growing meat goats when protein requirements are met.
Keywords: meat goat, soybean hulls, mineral