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Pen vs. pasture study: year 3

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A comparison of pen vs. pasture feeding of meat goats.

A comparison of pen vs. pasture feeding of meat goats.

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  • 1. Using grain to improve goat carcass quality and value: Year 2 Susan Schoenian and Jeff Semler - University of Maryland Extension
  • 2. Thank you for your support of the 2012 and 2013 pen vs. pasture studies. We love barley!
  • 3. Pen-fed (n=15) Pasture-fed (n=15) • Maintained on pasture – Pasture-only diet – No supplemental feed • Maintained in dry lot • Fed hay and grain – Free choice mixed hay – Whole barley once per day
  • 4. Growth rate - average daily gain (ADG) 0.311 ± 0.071 lb./d 0.064 ± 0.036 lb./d
  • 5. Fecal egg counts (eggs per gram of feces) Fecal egg counts are a measure of parasite infection (# worms) Pastures were pre-infected by sheep. All goats were dewormed on May 31 with three anthelmintics. 8 12 3 1 3
  • 6. FAMACHA© scores (1-5) FAMACHA© scores estimate packed cell volume (PCV), which is a measure of the anemia caused by the worms 8 12 3 1 3
  • 7. Live and carcass weights
  • 8. Percent carcass yields
  • 9. Carcass fat
  • 10. Carcass muscling Rib eye area (REA) - in2 +28% +37%
  • 11. Meat Quality (2012 data) 0.0 20.0 40.0 60.0 80.0 100.0 120.0 Caproic Palmitic Stearic Oleic Mg fatty acid per gram of dry meat Top 4 (>90%) fatty acids in goat meat Pasture Pen +8.7 mg +10.5 mg +3.4 mg +50 mg SFA (neutral) Bad SFA Neutral SFA MUFA (good)
  • 12. Economics of pen vs. pasture feeding Group USDA grade Price per cwt Avg. weight Value per head Pasture 2.5 $159 55.2 $88 Pen 1.1 $207 74.5 $154 Difference 1.4 $48 19.3 $66 Group Lbs. lean Price per lb. Value per head Pasture 9.70 $10 $97 Pen 16.65 $10 $166.50 Difference 6.95 0 $69.50 Feed cost for pen goats Barley: 1.1 x 84 x $13/cwt = $12.01 Hay: 2.4 x 84 x $12/cwt = $24.34 Total: $36.40/head Profit: $154-$36.40 = $117.60/head Cost for pasture goats $100/acre x 12.5 acres x 96 goats ÷ 15 = $13.02 Death loss (FAMACHA 5 ): 4 x $88 ÷ 15 = $23.47 Total: $36.49/head Profit: $88-$36.49 = $51.51/head
  • 13. Goat Twilight Tour (open house) August 1, 2013
  • 14. We’d like to repeat the study for a third and final time. • Results in 2011 and 2013 differed from results in 2012 • 2013 was the first year in which a uniform set of goats was utilized in study (a similar source of goats has confirmed for 2014). • Repeat study feeding whole barley instead of a more expensive ration. • Pasture, weather, and economic conditions vary each year.
  • 15. Thank you Maryland Grain Producers!

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