Organic and conventional management in a Parda Alpina dairy goat production system in northeastern Brazil
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In this study, we compared organic and conventional management in a dairy goat production system in Angicos, Rio Grande do Norte, Northeastern Brazil. Twenty-six Parda Alpina dairy goats were used: 13 in organic management (OM) and 13 in conventional management (CM). The experimental design was completely randomized with two treatments and 13 repetitions. OM practices included estrus synchronization with the male effect, an herbal-based treatment against endoparasitoses (an extract of lemon [Citrus limonum] and garlic [Allium sativum]) and the control of mastitis using the Embrapa Kit for manual milking with a rosemary pepper (Lippia sidoides) tincture. CM animals received synthetic hormones (Promone®, Prolise®, and Novormon®) for synchronization of estrus, ivermectin for endoparasitoses, and iodized alcohol for mastitis prevention aided by the Embrapa Kit for manual milking. No significant differences were observed between the management types in the pregnancy rate, FEC, FAMACHA © (Faffa Malan Chart) scores, physico-chemical composition of the milk, or somatic cell count (SCC). Both OM and MC had pregnancy rates of 61.54%. The mean values of the egg counts observed in the OM and CM were 24 and 35 eggs g-1, respectively. The FAMACHA © scores were 1 or 2 and 2, 3, or 4 in OM and CM, respectively. The goats had average weights in OM of 48.53 kg and in CM of 55.92 kg. Milk production, fat, protein, lactose, total solids, and nonfat solids in OM (0.971 kg/day, 2,210, 2,322, 3,306, 7,866, 5,566, respectively) were slightly higher than those in CM (0.946 kg/day, 1,812, 1,812, 2.868, 6.74, 4.928). OM (904,860 cells/mL) and CM (1.02052 million cells/mL) SCC values were similar, with the OM within the acceptable range for milk goats. Organic management was equivalent to conventional management for weight gain, maintenance of animal health standards, reproductive and sanitary control, and milk quantity and quality, and is technically suitable for a dairy goat production system in semiarid conditions.