The effect of dietary protein degradability on production characteristics of lactating Saanen does
Twenty-one lactating Saanen goats of similar milk yield and lactation number were fed one of three experimental protein diets: low UDP (160 g CP/kg DM), high UDP, low protein (128 g CP/kg DM), and high UDP high protein (160 g CP/kg DM). The aim of the study was to determine whether an increased UDP and decreased RDP content would increase production and also whether a decreased CP content and an increased UDP content would sustain the production of lactating Saanen does. The does on the low UDP diet had significantly higher feed intakes and were significantly heavier at the end of the trial period of 120 days. No differences in milk production or composition were observed. The CP intake/kg milk yield was 113 ± 0.01 g (4% butterfat). The low protein (20% less CP) high UDP diet was able to sustain a similar milk production with a significantly better conversion (29.3%) of N into milk protein than the other diets. In contrast the decrease in RDP and increase in UDP content, at the same CP level, did not improve the production potential of the does. ©South African Society for Animal Science.