Liveweight production of ewes and lambs grazing a dryland lucerne monoculture with or without barley grain supplementation
In 2013/2014 (Year 1) and 2014/2015 (Year 2) at Ashley Dene, Canterbury, New Zealand, sheep grazing dryland lucerne monocultures were supplemented with barley grain. In neither year did barley grain supplementation improve lamb growth rates. In 2013/2014 total liveweight (LWt) production of lambs was 782 ± 11.5 kg LWt/ha between 3/9/2014 and 3/2/2015 when pastures were destocked. However, ewes with continuous access to barley grain gained 12.4 kg LWt/ha over the lactation period compared with those without access to grain that lost 14.0 kg LWt/ha. In 2014/2015 (Year 2), liveweight production of lambs totalled 408 ± 1.0 kg LWt/ha from those with no access to grain and 382 ± 1.0 kg LWt/ha from those with grain supplementation. Upon restocking with weaned lambs, each lamb with access to grain gained 154 ± 9.8 g/d which was less than those without grain access (188 ± 9.7 g/d). Sheep ingested 25-83 g/d of grain with ad lib feeding. These results support previous literature that suggests liveweight responses from grain supplementation of sheep are inconsistent.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences; 0703 Crop and Pasture Production; 0702 Animal Production
© 2016 The authors and NZGA.