University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Calcium carbonate, goat diet


Calcium addition is necessary in order to balance the high phosphorus concentrations that are characteristic of high-concentrate ruminant diets. However, calcium sources differ in their bioavailability. Our objective was to determine apparent calcium and magnesium absorption and retention in goats offered diets containing different sources of calcium. Spanish-Boer goats (n = 18; 19.6 ± 1.88 kg) were stratified by body weight (BW) and sex and randomized to dietary treatments consisting of Purina Antlermax 16 containing either calcium carbonate (CC), Calmin (CM) or Milk Cal (MC). Goats were adapted to a control, corn-based high-concentrate diet on pasture and then moved to individual 1.0 × 1.5-m pens with plastic coated expanded metal floors, and adjusted to their respective diets along with removal of hay from the diet over a 7-d period. Goats were then offered their respective diets at a total of 2% of BW in equal feedings at 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM for an additional 14-d adaption period to diet and facilities followed by a 7-d collection of total urine and feces. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED of SAS. Calcium and magnesium intake were not different (P ≥ 0.12) among diets. Calcium and magnesium apparent absorption and retention (g/d and % of intake) were greatest (P < 0.05) in goats offered CC and did not differ (P ≥ 0.20) between goats offered the CM and MC diets. Therefore, calcium and magnesium were more available for goats from the diet containing calcium carbonate compared with diets containing Calmin and Milk Cal.