Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Analyzing Nutritional Quality of Diet

In addition to the individual fecal samples to be collected on Thursday, a pooled fecal sample will be collected and submitted to the Grazingland Animal Nutrition (GAN) Lab at the Blackland Research Center in Temple, Texas.

What is the quality of their diet?

This lab, directed by Dr. Stephen Prince, is part of the Center for Natural Resource Information and Technology (CNRIT), a center within Texas AgriLife Research. It uses infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to analyze animal fecal samples to determine the nutritional quality of an animal's intake, 36 hours prior to defecation. 

As a compliment to the analysis, the lab offers the Nutritional Balance Analyzer (NUTBAL) software free to the public. The software uses the NIRS results and other information to produce a nutritional balance report for protein and net energy and a report for least-cost feeding solutions. 

Bucks prefer orchardgrass to fescue

This is a picture of the 2-acre paddock the goats are currently grazing. From the picture, you can see that the goats have eaten down part of the paddock. This is the part of the paddock that contains orchardgrass. The rest of the paddock contains MaxQ tall fescue. On Thursday, the goats will be moved to a fresh paddock of orchardgrass.