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Effects of heather and oat supplementation on gastrointestinal nematode infections and performance of grazing Cashmere goats

AuthorsCelaya, Rafael; Ferreira, Luis M. M.; Moreno-Gonzalo, Javier; Frutos, Pilar ; Hervás, Gonzalo ; Ferre, Ignacio; García, Urcesino; Ortega Mora, Luis M.; Osoro, Koldo
KeywordsGoat performance
Gastrointestinal nematodes
Energy food
Issue Date2010
CitationSmall Ruminant Research 91: 186-192 (2010)
AbstractThis work aimed to evaluate the effects of tannin-containing heather (Calluna vulgaris, Erica spp.) and energy (oats, Avena sativa) supplementation, combined or not, on feed intake, gastrointestinal nematode infections and performance of goats grazing mountain grasslands. Two successive experiments were established across one grazing season on four paddocks. The first (late April to early August, Period 1) involved two treatments, i.e., supplementation with heather (+H) vs. non-supplementation (−H), each randomly allocated to two paddocks. The second (mid-August to mid-November, Period 2) consisted on four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design, i.e., supplementation with heather and oats (+H+O), only heather (+H−O), only oats (−H+O), and no supplementation (−H−O). Results from Period 1 indicated that faecal nematode egg counts (FEC) were lower in +H goats (50% less in August), achieving more favourable live weight (LW) and body condition changes than −H goats. Total dry matter intake (DMI) in June was similar between treatments, with heather accounting for 0.21 of +H goat diets. Kids FEC and LW gains were not affected by heather supplementation. In Period 2, both heather and oat supplementation reduced FEC (45 and 61%, respectively) and improved goat performance, without an interaction between both factors. Total DMI in October was higher in +H+O compared to other treatments (48 vs. 30 g DM kg LW−0.75 d−1; P < 0.01). Rumen ammonia concentration was lower (P < 0.001) in +H than in −H goats, and in +O than in −O goats, whereas that of volatile fatty acids (VFA) was not affected by treatments, though the molar proportions of some VFA were modified. It is concluded that the combination of both supplements (tannins and energy) contributes to reduce gastrointestinal nematode parasitism and increases goat performance, allowing a lower dependence on conventional chemotherapy.
Description7 pages, 3 figures, 4 tables.-- Available online 15 April 2010.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2010.03.013
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Artículos
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