Energy and protein requirements during the growing phase of indigenous goats
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The objective of this study was to investigate both energy and protein requirements for the maintenance and growth of indigenous goats, based on data from two separate studies. Goats were weaned at 79 ± 4.4 days of age, with milk and solid diet intake recorded daily. To determine energy maintenance requirements, 32 kids of 4.90 ± 0.302 kg initial body weight (BW) were used. Ten kids were slaughtered at 5.40 ± 0.484 kg BW to estimate initial body composition, with the remaining kids randomly assigned to one of two DM intake levels: ad libitum and restricted-fed (1.2-times maintenance level). Heat production (HP) was calculated as the difference between ingested metabolizable energy (MEI) and retained energy. Net energy requirement for maintenance (NEm) was estimated as the β0 parameter of the relationship between HP and MEI [HP = β0 × exp (β1 × MEI)]. Metabolizable energy required for maintenance (MEm) was calculated iteratively, as HP = MEI. Efficiency of energy utilization for maintenance (km) was calculated as NEm/MEm. The intercept of the linear regression of retained CP on CP intake was used to calculate net protein requirements for maintenance (NPm). Net energy and protein requirement for gain (NEg and NPg, respectively) were obtained using 26 kids fed ad libitum and randomly slaughtered at 5.40 ± 0.484 kg BW (n = 10), 15.8 ± 0.655 kg BW (n = 10), and 26.3 ± 1.27 kg BW (n = 6). The first derivative of the allometric equation (used to calculate energy and protein contents in empty body weight (EBW)) with respect to EBW yielded estimates of NEg and NPg. A Monte Carlo-based method was employed to simulate variation in MEm, NEg, and NPg. This study indicated that the net energy required for maintenance is 310.1 ± 36.7 kJ kg-0.75 EBW, with MEm estimated at 499.1 ± 52.1 kJ kg-0.75 EBW and km equal to 0.62. This study indicated that 1.246 g CP kg-0.75 EBW is required by indigenous kids weighing from 5 to 25 kg BW to meet their NPm. In addition, indigenous goats require between 186.6 ± 2.97 and 214.3 ± 12.9 g CP, and between 5.39 ± 1.49 and 9.74 ± 2.57 MJ to gain one kilogram of EBW. This study may contribute to future adjustments in feeding system energy and protein recommendations for indigenous kids.