Milk production by the Angora EweThursday, 1st November 2018
By Dr Mackie Hobson
Kid survival is dependent on a number of factors (excluding predators). Milk production by the ewe is an important factor in kid survival and growth. Angora goat ewes are naturally poor milk producers.
14.2% of kid deaths are due to udder and teat problems and poor milk production accounts for 8.7% of deaths
80% of the kids that die do so in the first month due to factors influenced by nutrition of the ewe during late pregnancy and early lactation.
- Low birth mass,
- Decreased colostrum and hence maternal antibody intake,
- Poor milk intake and poor mothering.
Nutritional factors influencing Angora milk production?
The nutrition of the ewe between day 90 and kidding (day 150) has a major impact not only on birth mass but also udder development, colostrum and mothering instinct.
The Angora ewe is a naturally a poor milk producer so the importance of nutrition must be emphasized.
Kids dry matter intake (veld) increases dramatically after at about 6 weeks of age and so the kid become less dependent on the ewe.
Kids from ewes on low Energy (LE) and a low Protein (LP) diet are already deficient at 3 weeks.
Most veld types cannot produce enough Energy for the late pregnant ewe so energy supplementation is required.
Trials were conducted by Louw (Grootfontein) to determine the different levels of Protein and Energy combination feeds to determine the effect on milk production.
Angora goat ewes were divided into 4 feeding groups during the last trimester of pregnancy (day 90-120) and fed different diets.
Graph showing the average daily milk production on the different diets.
The important effect of nutrition on milk production by the Angora ewe can be visualised in the above graphs.
- The High Protein/High Energy (HP:HE) producing the most milk
- The High Protein (HP) having a more significant effect than High Energy (HE)
Dr Mackie Hobson
Invloed van Energie- en Proteïenvoeding op Melkproduksie van Angorabokooie