UMA KARKI, JOHN MILTON, IAN WILLIAMS, LAURA MC CANN
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Department of Livestock Services Hariharbhawan, Nepal
This research was conducted to test the general hypothesis that supplementation of maiden does for one week before kidding would increase colostrum and milk production, kid growth and capretto quality and increase profits.
Maiden Cashmere does with a single fetus were supplemented with lupins for 1 week before kidding. Colostrum produced at the point of kidding and milk produced up to Week 10 of lactation by these does were measured. Kid survival, birth weight and growth rate up to 10 weeks of age were also measured. At 10 weeks of age, kids were slaughtered and the quality and quantity of capretto were measured. The profits were calculated from the feeding costs of does and possible return from the sale of kids at different weeks of age.
Does supplemented with lupins before kidding produced more colostrum than the does fed the basal diet only. However, the survival and birth weight of kids were not affected. The milk production of does remained similar irrespective of the supplement fed before kidding. The kids grew at the same rate and produced the similar quantity and quality of capretto irrespective of the supplement fed to their mothers. The optimal age and live weight of kids at sale for the maximum profit were found to be 8.3 weeks and 13.5kg respectively.
The use of maiden Cashmere does seems successful for premium quality capretto production. Supplementing the maiden Cashmere does prior to kidding does not seem to enhance capretto production for the conditions of this experiment. Such supplement might be beneficial under field conditions and in the case of multiple births. This needs to be tested. Kids need to be sold at their optimal age or live weight for a profitable capretto enterprise.
Keywords: Capretto, colostrum, feeding, kid (goat), milk, profits