Development of an animal-friendly feeding system for horned goats - preliminary results
In Germany, particularly in federal state Baden-Württemberg, dairy goat farming is becoming increasingly important as an alternative source of income (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2017). In feeding dairy goats there is a need for developing concentrate feeding systems adapted for horned goats, since dehorning is forbidden in Germany (Animal welfare act, 2019). Due to their species-specific behavior, agonistic interactions and horn-induced injuries are often found, especially while competition during feed intake. Injuries affect animal well-being, animal health, and result in economic losses (Leitner et al., 2007). The project aimed to develop a functional and safe feeding system for horned goats. For further development of concentrated feeding systems, two different systems that are available for hornless goats were selected: A) the Lamking Double Box (LB) (Wasserbauer GmbH) and B) the Capra Box (CB) (Dedden/Hanskamp). One of each system was installed on two different farms in Germany (together 320 goats). Both systems differ fundamentally in the way they work. LB works with a sideways swinging door, whereas CB works as a walk through. To evaluate the feeding system, body condition scoring as well as incidence and type of udder and body injuries were evaluated before and after installation. A first result is the functionality of the optimized feeding system in each farm, which will be presented during the talk.Data evaluation is still ongoing to be able to give sufficient information about both feeding systems in terms of animal well-being, animal health and economics. Funding: The project is funded within the framework of the European Innovation Partnership "Landwirtschaftliche Produktivität und Nachhaltigkeit" (EIP-AGRI). The funding measure is a measure of the "Maßnahmen- und Entwicklungsplan Ländlicher Raum Baden-Württemberg 2014-2020" (MEPL III). The project is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the "Europäischer Landwirtschaftsfond für die Entwicklung des Ländlichen Raums (ELER)".