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Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences

DOI

10.3906/vet-1807-23

Abstract

The body condition of does at the time of mating may affect feeding patterns and production performance during forthcoming lactation. For investigation, 40 Beetal does available for breeding were utilized, and their body condition score (BCS) was estimated using the visual-cum-palpation method with a 9-point scale (scale of 1=5 with increments of 0.5 point). The available goats were divided into 3 groups: higher BCS (T$_{≥3.0}$; n =11), moderate BCS (T$_{2.5}$; n = 8), and lower BCS (T$_{≤2.0}$; n = 21) and maintained in 2 random groups (20 each). Beetal goats with higher BCS at breeding time spent significantly (P < 0.01) more time feeding comfortably and less time feeding with difficulty than moderate and lower BCS goats. T2.5 and T$_{≤2.0}$ goats struggled (displacement and pushing) more at feeders, which included T$_{≤2.0}$ goats eating from the ground for more time (P < 0.01) than the other groups. T$_{≥3.0}$ goats had more agonistic interactions (threatening and hitting) toward moderate and lower BCS goats at feeders. Goats with higher BCS at mating had significantly (P < 0.05) higher milk yield during subsequent lactation; however, the composition of the milk did not differ among the groups. Mean disease incidence rate and number of days of disease per goat were significantly (P < 0.01) lesser in the T$_{≥3.0}$ group than other groups. It was concluded that Beetal goats should not have less than 3.0 BCS at the time of mating for better performance and health status.

First Page

649

Last Page

657

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