Animal Production

Research Article

Effects of castration on growth rate, feed conversion efficiency and carcass quality in Damascus goats

A. Loucaa1, S. Economidesa1 and J. Hancocka1

a1 Agricultural Research Institute, Nicosia, Gyprus

Abstract

One hundred and forty-two kids of the Damascus breed of goat were used over a 10½-mo period to study the effects of early castration (at 7 days of age) on growth, feed conversion efficiency and carcass quality and late castration (at 7½ mo of age) on the presence or absence of taint in goat meat.

Intact male kids grew faster and used feed more efficiently than castrates until they were about 9 mo old (56 kg live weight). There- after intact kids exhibited strong sexual activity and as a result their growth ceased completely whereas castrates continued growing. Early castrates produced fatter carcasses than those of intact kids. Castration of male kids at the age of about 7½ mo (44 kg live weight) was not successful in this trial and the kids performed very poorly. A taint of varying intensity was present in the meat of intact goats but not in that from any of the early or late castrates.

(Received May 13 1976)