American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Parasitic Loads and Growth Performance of Goats and Kids under Sequential and Mixed Species Grazing with Cattle at a Constant Stocking Rate

Renita Woods Marshall, Sebhatu Gebrelul, Shonta Manuel, Calvin Adams and Yemane Ghebreiyessus

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2015.141.149

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 10, Issue 3

Pages 141-149

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of sequential and mixed species grazing on parasitic loads and growth performance of goat kids. The study was conducted between June and October, 2013. Forty eight (48) “Spanish” kids and 28 Brangus calves were randomly divided into four treatment groups; goats grazing alone (GOA, control), Goats Followed by Cattle (GFC), Cattle Followed by Goats (CFG) and, cattle and goats mixed (MXD) grazing. Each pasture was sub-divided into 8 grazing paddocks to facilitate intensive grazing. Each of the 8-ha grazing pasture was sub-divided into two replications and eight paddocks. Animals were moved to a new paddock twice a week (3.5d rotation). The initial stocking rate was based approximately upon 0.8 ha per cow that would allow five cows per replication. Body Weights (BW), body condition score (1=thin, 5=fat, BCS), Famacha© scores (1=pink, healthy eye, 5=white, anemic) and fecal and blood samples were taken bi-weekly. Fecal and blood samples were analyzed in the lab for fecal egg count in eggs per gram (FEC) and Packed Cell Volume (PCV) percentages. Data was statistically analyzed using SAS’s MIXED procedure and correlation coefficients were determined among the measurements. Differences (p<0.05) among treatment groups were observed where kids in GOA group were lighter in weight (13.2±0.0 Vs. 17.3±0.6 kg) and less conditioned (1.9±0.07 Vs. 2.3±0.07) than the CFG, GFC and MXD groups combined. No difference in Famacha© scores (2.3±0.07 Vs. 2.3±0.06) and PCV percentages (29.4±0.8 Vs 27.7±0.8) were observed between GFC and MXD groups. Male kids were about 1 kg heavier than female kids. BW was positively (p<0.05) correlated with BCS, HG, PCV and negatively with FEC. BCS was positively (p<0.05) correlated with HG, PCV and negatively with FEC. After the eighth week of the study, kids in GFC and MXD groups had lower Famacha© scores and higher PCV levels than kids in GOA and CFG groups. Overall, compared to kids grazing alone, mixed and sequential grazing kids had higher BCS, BW and PCV levels and lower Famacha© scores.

Copyright

© 2015 Renita Woods Marshall, Sebhatu Gebrelul, Shonta Manuel, Calvin Adams and Yemane Ghebreiyessus. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.