2015 Volume 58 Issue 2 Pages 165-178
This research investigated whether barley can be used as main feed ingredient for raising goats. In experiment 1, six male goats (crossbred Japanese Saanen/Nubian, 2.4 years old) were used. The amount of alfalfa hay cubes was gradually decreased while barley was increased by 50 g each day over three weeks. The ruminal fluids characteristics and ruminal contractions in goats fed 50% barley were almost normal, and uneaten barley, bloat and soft feces were not observed. In experiment 2, twelve male kids (crossbred Japanese Saanen/ Nubian, 3 months old) were separated into two groups of six animals (CFG:control feed, BFG:barley mixed feed). The CFG used formulated feed containing 43% corn, while the BFG used that containing 43% barley. Haycubes were fed twice daily. Hay and water were given ad libitum. Body sizes were measured monthly. The characteristics of carcass were analyzed. Both formulated feeds and haycubes were completely consumed. The hay intake in the BFG after 5 months old was higher than the CFG. The growth rates, meat production and, γ-aminobutyric acid and carnosine contents of the loin in the BFG were larger than the CFG. The results indicate that barley can be used as main feed ingredient for growing goats.