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Effects of different weaning programs on growth of Saanen kids

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The aim of the study reported here was to compare the performances of kids reared according to three different weaning programs. In the first program (T1), the dams were not milked in the evening and the kids accompanied their dams from 17.00 hours until the next morning. In the second program (T2), the dams of the kids were milked at 17.00 hours and then the kids accompanied their dams until the next morning, being separated from their dams at 08.00 hours. In the third program (T3), the kids were subjected to the T1 program for the first 4 weeks of the study, and to the T2 program for the last 4 weeks of the study. The kids in all the groups were weaned at 8 weeks of age. The weaning programs had significant effects on average daily weight gains (ADG) of the kids during weeks 1–4 and weeks 1–8 of the study (P < 0.05). In the weeks 1–8 period, the kids on the T1 program had a higher ADG than those on the T2 program (P < 0.05). However, the kids on T1, T2 and T3 programs had similar ADG post-weaning. The dry matter intake of the starter feed of the kids of the T3 program was higher than that of the kids of the T1 and T2 programs. The results of the present study indicated that the three weaning programs did not result in any significant effect on the growth of Saanen kids. Hence, the T3 program can be used if the starter feed intake is desirable.
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Keywords: dairy goat; growth; weaning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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