Other Considerations

Sahlu et al.[4] proposed a system to predict the grazing activity energy cost based on variables that could be reasonably well assessed in the field (i.e., grazing plus walking time, diet quality, distance traveled, and terrain) that might be refined by future research. Goats are raised in many different environments, necessitating consideration of effects of acclimatization and cold and heat stress on MEm. Effects of acclimatization may relate to indications that desert goats have lower MEm relative to goats in other environments.1-8-1 Although there has been less research of environmental effects on nutritional needs of goats compared with cattle or sheep, the same general principles should apply.

Energy requirements of goats in the last one-third of pregnancy have not been thoroughly characterized. Thus, it is suggested that approaches such as those of AFRC[2] and Sahlu et al.,[4] based on energy needs of sheep, be employed. Doelings kidding at 1 year of age require more energy during lactation than older does for continual growth and development. To account for this need, Sahlu et al.[4] suggested the use of the mature goat MEg of 28.5 kJ/g ADG.[3] As discussed by Nsahlai et al.,[7] it is likely that MEm is not constant throughout lactation, but insufficient data with goats are currently available to recommend an adjustment.

Based on linear regression of MPI against ADG, MPm was 3.07 g/kg BW075 for growing non-Angora goats; the MP requirement for gain (MPg) was 0.290 g/g ADG for dairy and indigenous goats and 0.404 g/g ADG for meat goats.[15] The MPm of growing and mature Angora goats from multiple regression analysis (0 tissue gain and clean fiber growth) was 3.35 g/kg BW0 75, and MP requirements for tissue gain and clean fiber growth were 0.281 and 1.65 g/g, respectively.1-5-1

A factor that may limit use of MP requirements by livestock producers is lack of familiarity with MP relative to CP. However, the NRC[6] stated that the efficiency of conversion of CP to MP ranges from 0.64 to 0.80 for diets with 100% ruminally degraded CP to 100% ruminally undegraded CP, which should allow reasonable estimates of CP needs.

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