Effects of methods of exposure to eastern red cedar foliage on cedar consumption by Boer crossbred wether goats

TitleEffects of methods of exposure to eastern red cedar foliage on cedar consumption by Boer crossbred wether goats
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsAnimut G., Goetsch A.L., Estell R.E., Merkel R.C., Dawson L.J., Sahlu T., Puchala R.
Conference NameDairy Goat Field Day Proceedings
Date PublishedApril 24, 2004
ARIS Log Number166169
KeywordsBoer crossbred wether goats, eastern red cedar, exposure methods
AbstractTwenty-four Boer crossbred yearling wethers (23.5 ± 2.31 kg initial BW) were used to determine effects of stepwise increases in dietary level of Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) foliage (CF), compared with a constant, relatively high level and subsequent availability of low-quality forage, on present and later consumption of CF. Animals were penned individually in Phases 1 (8 wk) and 3 (2 wk) and during Phase 2 (6 wk) wethers were kept in a pasture not containing cedar trees and were fed wheat hay. In Phase 1 a concentrate-based diet (CBD, 12.6% CP and 35.5% NDF) was offered at approximately 85% of the maintenance energy requirement alone (Control) or with weekly stepwise (Step) increases in level of substitution of CF for CBD (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25% in wk 1-8, respectively; DM basis) or substitution of 25% CF in wk 2-8 (Set). In Phase 3 (2 wk), all wethers were offered the diet of 75% CBD and 25% CF as previously, without or with separate free-choice access to low-quality grass hay. CF was harvested weekly, refrigerated and hand-mixed with CBD prior to feeding. In Phase 1, intake of CF as a percentage of that offered was greater (P Set > Control without hay, but was not different between Step without hay and treatments with hay (78, 41, 34, 61, 57 and 60% for Step, Set and Control without and with hay, respectively; SE = 7.6). Concentrations of various blood constituents at the end of Phases 1 and 3 did not indicate adverse health effects of CF consumption. In conclusion, gradual increases in dietary level of CF deserve further research as a potential means to elevate present and future CF consumption, with attention also directed to effects of type and level of other feedstuffs offered.