Body live weight and milk production parameters in the Majorera and Palmera goat breeds from the Canary Islands: influence of weight loss

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Seasonal weight loss (SWL), caused by poor quality pastures during the dry season, is the major limitation to animal production in the tropics. One of the ways to counter this problem is to breed animals that show tolerance to SWL. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of feed restriction in milk production and live weight (LW) evolution in two goat breeds, with different levels of adaptation to nutritional stress: the Majorera (considered to be tolerant) and the Palmera (considered to be susceptible). A total of ten animals per breed were used. Animals were divided in four groups (two for each breed): a restricted group (restricted diet) and a control group. LW and milk yield parameters were recorded through a trial that lasted 23 days in total. Overall, there were no significant differences between both restricted groups, regarding neither LW nor milk yield reductions (LW reduction 13 % and milk yield reduction of 87 % for both restricted groups). In what concerns control groups, there were no significant differences between breeds, thought there were different increments at the end of the trial for both breeds regarding LW (6 and 4 %, for Majorera and Palmera, respectively) and milk yield (28 and 8 %, respectively for Majorera and Palmera). The lack of statistically significant differences between Palmera and Majorera LW and milk yields in restricted groups may be due to the fact that the controlled trial does not replicate harsh field conditions, in which Majorera would excel, and the stress induced by those differences.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)1731-1736
JournalTropical Animal Health And Production
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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