Improving the meat production characteristic of the meat goat kids by supplementary feeding

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University of Dar es Salaam
There is a low consumption of meat protein in Tanzania. It is reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that, the amount is only 5.9g per person per day compared to the recommended amount of 21.0g. To improve the meat production within the country, various methods of improving the total production and efficiency of meat production from livestock especially small stock such as sheep and goats have been suggested. These include breeding and cross breeding, improved management to reduce mortality in the young and adult of these species and increasing the growth rate through improved nutrition. An experiment was conducted to see how some of the meat production traits could be improved through improved feeding of goats. A total of thirty two does were involved in the experiment, belong to the Tanzania, Galla and Kamorai-Tanzania goat types. These does were divided into three groups. Groups A comprising eleven does were not supplemented. Group B also comprising eleven does were supplemented from one month before kidding and during lactation. Group C which comprised ten does only were supplemented as for Group B but in addition, their kids were also supplemented. The growth rates of the kids in Group C during the periods from 5th to 16th week of age and from birth to 16 weeks of age, were significantly higher (P,0.05) than kids in Group B. The average weight gains per kid per day during the period of 5th to 16th week of age were 58.0 ± 14.9g, 41.4 ± 21.5g and 64.5 ± 11.4g for kids in Groups A, B and C, respectively. The average growth rates per kid per day from birth to weaning (16 weeks of age) were 76.4 ± 19.1g, 65.6 ± 23.7g and 89.29±11.4g for Groups A, B and C, respectively. The average dressing percentage of the kids’ carcasses at 16 weeks of age were higher in supplemented groups compared to unsupplemented groups, however, the differences were not significant. They were 43.8 ±3.5 ±2.6 and 46.0 ± 2.8 percentage for Groups A, B and C, respectively. The fat content in the carcasses were also higher in the supplemented group (Group C) than in kids’ carcasses from the other groups. The mortality rate of the kids from birth to weaning was 3.3 percent. The study calls for more work on the composition of rations especially the levels of protein and energy to be offered to does and kids. There is also a need to look for alternative feeds such as high quality pastures, hay and silage, etc. since the aim is to encourage meat production from these animals in the rural areas where concentrate feeds may be difficult to obtain.
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Meat, Goats, Breeding, Breeding
Mavoa, E. M (1980) Improving the meat production characteristic of the meat goat kids by supplementary feeding, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )