Date of Graduation

Fall 2009

Degree

Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture

Department

College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Walker

Keywords

lambs, kids, protein supplement, bermudagrass, ADG

Subject Categories

Agriculture

Abstract

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is an economically important grass grown on pastures throughout the South and Midwest; however, it may be insufficient in crude protein to meet the demands of lambs and meat goat kids. Two eight-week experiments, starting in June and ending in August of 2007 and 2008, respectively, were conducted at the USDA/ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory at El Reno, Oklahoma. Each paddock consisted primarily of Bermudagrass with varying quantities of meadow foxtail (Alopecurus Creticus). In 2007, 38 meat goat type kids (90 +- 5 days of age) at an average starting weight of 14 +- 5 kg were used whereas 57 meat goat type kids (100 +- 5 days of age) with an average starting weight of 19 kg were used in 2008. In 2007, 87 wool and hair type breed (and reciprocal crosses) lambs (100 +- 5 days of age) with starting weight of 30 +- 5 kg were utilized, and in 2008, and 85 wool types and hair type (and their reciprocal crosses) lambs (100 +- 5 days of age) with an average starting weight at 25 kg were used. Animals were grouped by weight, breed, and gender, and randomly assigned to one of two treatments (in duplicate): 1.22 hectares of common Bermudagrass with no protein supplement or with 21% natural protein blocks. Animals were weighed and blood samples collected every two weeks. In both trials, sheep had greater average daily gain (ADG) than goats (P < 0.05). There was a significant correlation between sheep breeds and ADG, but the study suggests that protein supplementation had no significant effect on ADG.

Copyright

© Samuel Ray Nusz

Campus Only

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