Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences (Aug 2019)

Recent advances in the feeding and nutrition of dairy goats

  • Arthur Louis Goetsch

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 32, no. 8
pp. 1296 – 1305


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There have been recent advances concerning research of the feeding and nutrition of dairy goats in a wide array of areas. Ruminally emitted methane and supplementary feedstuffs to a lesser extent make appreciable contributions to the carbon footprint of dairy goats, with the former affected by type of production system and associated dietary characteristics. Unique behavior of goats necessitates careful consideration of the nature of confinement facilities to achieve optimal production by animals differing in social hierarchy. Physiological conditions such as nutritional needs and perhaps health status may influence diet selection by goats in both grazing and confinement settings. Some research suggests that low concentrations of protein and fat in milk of high-yielding dairy goat breeds could involve the type and nature of dietary ingredients as influencing end products of ruminal fermentation. With the relationship between milk urea nitrogen concentration and efficiency of dietary protein utilization, through future research the measure may be a useful tool for diet formulation as in dairy cattle. Effects of dietary inclusion of sources of fats and oils vary considerably depending on their nature, as is also true for byproduct feedstuffs and conventional ones being substituted for. Supplementation of dairy goats with sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids can affect oxidative stress and various feedstuffs influence antioxidant status; however, research addressing the significance of such changes under practical production settings would be beneficial.