Two hundred 2-tooth (2T) and mixed age (MA) cashmere does were randomly allocated to one of 4 feeding levels to evaluate the effect of pasture allowance on liveweight change and reproductive performance. Pasture allowances of 0.8 (L), 1.2 (M), 2.5 (M+) and 5.0+ (H) kgGM/hd/d were imposed for 8 weeks prior to mating. Does were weighed fortnightly and laparoscroped at 10 (CL10) and 20 (CL20) days post buck introduction. Weight change over 8 weeks was -2.2kg (L), 0.1kg (M), 0.3kg (M+) and 1.8kg (H) and was significant (P<0.01) for L, M+ and H treatments. Pasture allowance had no effect on proportion of does ovulating (CL10 and CL20) but does on the L and M allowance averaged fewer multiple ovulations than does on the M+ and H allowances (14% vs 23%) at day 10 after mating. A high proportion (P,0.01) of MA does were ovulating 10 days after mating (78.7% vs 58.2%) and MA does had more multiple ovulations at 10 (52.1% vs 11.3%) and 20 (40.2% vs 13.5%) days after mating than 2T does. There were more (P<0.01) MA does pregnant (76.3% vs 57.1%) and more multiple pregnancies in MA does (44.6% vs 17.3%) than 2T does. This trial showed that age is a major factor in determining proportion of multiple ovulations and multiple pregnancies in cashmere goats. It highlighted the confounding effect of age on liveweight and the difficulty in separating the effects of pasture allowance from the effects of liveweight, on reproductive performance.

AS, Davies, U Baulain, M Henning, and E Kallweit

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 455-456, 1990
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