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Growth and production of lactating Australian feral does and their Angora cross kids when fed oats with urea or lucerne chaff

Small Ruminant Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0921-4488(88)90036-3
  • Biology


Abstract Twenty-four domesticated Australian feral does were mated to an Angora buck. Prior to parturition they were housed and fed either 70% oats and 30% lucerne chaff (OL) or oats and 1.4% urea (OU) diets. Mean bodyweight one day post-partum was 45.7 kg. OL-fed does ate 1.7 kg DM day −1 and their kids grew 175 g day −1 compared to OU-fed does who ate 1.3 kg DM day −1 and whose kids grew 118 g day −1. OL-fed does lost less liveweight than OU-fed does. Three weeks post-partum the milk production of twins rearing does was: OL, 3.11 day −1; OU, 1.9 1 day −1. The fat and protein percentage of the milk was 6.9 and 3.0 for the OL does and 7.4 and 3.5 for the OU does, respectively. Twin-reared kids grew more slowly than single kids but, in terms of kid gain per unit doe food intake, twin kids grew more efficiently. The addition of lucerne resulted in an 18% substitution for oats as OU-fed does ate 1.27 kg oats day −1 compared to 1.18 kg oats day −1 for OL-fed does. OU diets could make satisfactory drought rations, provided an adequate introductory period was given.

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