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1 January 2008 Age and Body Condition of Goats Influence Consumption of Juniper and Monoterpene-Treated Feed
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Abstract

Redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii Sudworth) is an invasive, evergreen tree that is rapidly expanding throughout western and central Texas. Goats will consume some juniper on rangelands; however, intake is limited. The objective of our research was to determine how the age and body condition of goats influence their consumption of juniper and an artificial feed containing 4 monoterpenes. Two separate experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 examined the intake of redberry juniper foliage and used 39 goats either young (2 yr) or mature (> 6 yr). One-half of each age group was fed appropriate basal rations to reach either a high (HBC) or low body condition (LBC). Goats in LBC ate more (P < 0.01, 8.6 g · kg−1 body weight [BW] ± 0.7 SE) juniper than those in HBC (2.3 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.3 SE), and young animals consumed more (P < 0.05, 7.2 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.7 SE) juniper than mature goats (3.9 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.5 SE) across body condition treatments. In experiment 2, 36 goats, either young (2 yr) or mature (> 6 yr) and in either HBC or LBC, were offered a synthetic ration treated with 20.8 g · kg−1 of 4 monoterpenes found in redberry juniper. Goats in LBC ate more (P < 0.01, 25.3 g · kg−1  BW  ± 1.0 SE) of the terpene-treated feed than those in HBC (17.5 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.7 SE), and young animals ate more (P < 0.05, 22.5 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.8 SE) than mature goats (20.3 g · kg−1 BW ± 0.8 SE) across body condition treatments. Total intake as a proportion of body weight was also affected by body condition. Age and body condition are important factors that influence intake of chemically defended plants. A better understanding of how these attributes affect diet selection will aid livestock producers in improving grazing management.

Rachel A. Frost, Karen L. Launchbaugh, and Charles A. Taylor "Age and Body Condition of Goats Influence Consumption of Juniper and Monoterpene-Treated Feed," Rangeland Ecology and Management 61(1), 48-54, (1 January 2008). https://doi.org/10.2111/06-160R1.1
Received: 22 November 2006; Accepted: 1 September 2007; Published: 1 January 2008
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