Evaluation of ‘Ceres Tonic’ plantain (Plantago lanceolata) as a lactation feed for twin-bearing ewes
A field experiment evaluated the effect of plantain (Plantago lanceolata) on ewe and lamb liveweight changes and ewe faecal egg count (FEC) during lactation. Pregnant ewes were randomly allocated to either plantain or perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) pastures. Ewes remained on the treatments from one week before lambing until weaning. In Year 1, stocking rate in each treatment group was adjusted weekly to maintain a constant pasture cover. In Year 2, all ewes were set-stocked at 10 /ha. All ewes were dosed with Teladorsadagia circumcincta larvae 7 days before parturition. FEC and liveweight of ewes and lambs were monitored weekly. In both years, lamb liveweight gain was faster on plantain than on perennial ryegrass. During lactation, ewe liveweight on ryegrass decreased while increasing on plantain. Ewe peri-parturient FEC for the plantain treatment group was significantly lower than ewes grazing perennial ryegrass (P=0.03). Despite both treatments growing similar amounts of forage, the carrying capacity (ewes/ha) on plantain was lower suggesting animal production differences were a result of differences in daily intake whether grazing at a common pasture cover or while grazing at the same stocking rate.... [Show full abstract]
TypeConference Contribution - published (Conference Paper)
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