a1 Agricultural Research Institute, Nicosia, Gyprus
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)