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Webinar puts spotlight on goat R&D

27 November 2020

Insights from two major goat R&D projects, funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), were featured on a recent webinar, hosted by the Australian Association of Animal Sciences (AAAS).

Insights from two major goat R&D projects, funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), were featured on a recent webinar, hosted by the Australian Association of Animal Sciences (AAAS), Queensland and Northern Territory branch.

The webinar, We’ve goat this – recent advances in goat nutrition and anthelmintic use, included updates on R&D projects from Dr Emma Doyle and Dr Simon Quigley.

Parasite control R&D

The levy-funded project, Sustainable internal parasite control in goats: Effective and safe anthelmintic use, is being led by Dr Emma Doyle from the University of New England.

The project is addressing the need for sustainable internal parasite control for the Australian goat industry through informed off-label drench use.

It aims to provide veterinarians with relevant, science-based advice to be able to guide goat producers in making best-practice decisions regarding the use of drenches (also known as anthelmintics).

The Australian goat industry is worth just under $98 million per year, and internal parasites cost the industry $2.5m in prevention and production costs.

The project comprises four experiments, three of which have been completed, and the fourth is now underway.

Information taken from this project will be made available for veterinarians to inform producers.

The final experiment and results will conclude in early 2021, and will be provided to veterinarians and ParaBoss to inform advice for producers on best-practice approaches to drenching and worm control.

Supplement cost calculator

Dr Simon Quigley from The University of Queensland spoke about the R&D project currently underway, focusing on the development of a supplement cost calculator for rangeland goats.

The project is determining rangeland goats’ response to feed supplementation to help in the development of a simple cost-of-supplement calculator for goat producers.

Supplementation involves the provision of small quantities of a specific nutrient or nutrients to meet the requirements of an animal to achieve a target level of productivity.

An understanding of the likely response of rangeland goats to supplements is essential to support producers with their supplementation decisions; however, limited information is currently available.

The objective of the project is to develop response relationships to a range of supplements, which may be used by producers to increase live weight gain of young entire male rangeland goats.

The response data generated in the experiments being undertaken will be used to develop a simple cost-of-supplement calculator to assist producers to determine the relative costs of various supplements to achieve a targeted live weight gain for young entire male rangeland goats.

Full results from the project and the cost-of-supplement calculator are anticipated to be available to producers in late 2021.