Reproduction News: Kidding rates of goats affected by low body energy reserves under range conditions of northern Mexico

Body condition of goats under range conditions was not a risk factor for getting them pregnant. Does with a body condition score (BCS) under 1.5 (on a 5 point scale) however, were 9 times more likely to abort compared to all other does. A doe with low energy intake at time of conception was half as likely to kid as compared to does consuming higher energy feed.

It appears goat does respond to the presence of the buck even when they have low body energy stores. Low BCS did not have a negative effect on conception rates. Once pregnant the does either abort or keep the pregnancy to full term depending upon feed quality and availability. The effect of BCS at mating on abortion rates was less as BCS increased. Researchers concluded, to maintain pregnancies in goats kept under range conditions, BCS at mating must be above 2.

Figure 1 shows the relationship between body condition score of goats at mating and abortion and kidding rates.

Text Equivalent of Graphic

Source: Mellado, M., Valdez, R., Lara, L.M., Garcia, J.E., 2004. Risk factors involved in conception, abortion, and kidding rates of goats under extensive conditions. Small Ruminant Research 55, 191-198.

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