Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Goats have a very long history with mankind and are commonly used as a nutritious red meat source around the world. The supply of goat meat in the United States does not meet the growing demand from ethnic consumers. This provides an economic opportunity in Arkansas agriculture because goats are uniquely adapted to the Ozark environment. There is a wide gap in caprine research which facilitated the conception of the study’s objectives to determine whether prepartum milk in goats showed a sudden rise in calcium levels within 24 to 48 hours of kidding and to ascertain whether an increased colostrum density is indicative of increased weight gain in kids. For example, eleven does were bred out of season and monitored daily for mammary development. At which time, 5 to 15 mL of prepartum milk were collected nightly, and the calcium content was measured using a Chemetrics K-1700 testing system. Postpartum, a 20 mL sample of colostrum was collected and the density was tested using an Equine Colostrometer, antifreeze tester, and a Refractometer. Each kid was also weighed at birth, 30, 60, 90, and 120 days of age using a Premier 1 110# Digital scale. The weight was adjusted for age of dam, sex of kid, and birth type/rearing. The relationship between adjusted weights and colostrum quality and the relationship between calcium levels 24 and 48 hours prior to kidding with calcium levels at birth were analyzed using correlation and regression procedures in Excel. There was a weak negative correlation between the adjusted weights and colostrum quality; however, the relationship was not significant (P > 0.05). There was also a very weak positive correlation between calcium levels at 24 and 48 hours prior to kidding and at birth. Additionally, the relationships were not significant (P > 0.05). Future research studies should contain a larger, more uniform sample size.
goat, colostrum, immuniglobulin quality, mammary secretions, weight gain
Hamm, Justin, "Predicting Kidding Date Using Prepartum Milk Calcium Concentrations and Comparing Kid Growth to Colostrum Quality in Goats" (2018). Animal Science Undergraduate Honors Theses. 23.