Weaned lambs grazed areas of native tussock oversown with either lotus or a mixture of white and red clover for 2 consecutive 4-week periods in each of 2 years. The lambs selectively grazed introduced legume in the clover plots but not in the lotus plots. At herbage allowances at or below 2 kg DM/animal/d, there were no differences in live-weight gain (LWG) between lambs grazing areas oversown with either lotus or clover. At high allowances, LWG tended to be lower during the initial 4 weeks of grazing lotus (60 to 114 g/d) and to then increase to comparable values for lambs grazing areas oversown with clovers (140 g/d). Any depression of LWG could be minimised by "conditioning" lambs to lotus, and by management of companion grasses to keep them in the vegetative state. It was concluded that the initial period of lower LWG on lotus would not be a drawback if lotus was used as a maintenance-type feed for ewes in summer/autumn.

BC, Thomson, GJ Cruickshank, DP Poppi, and AR Sykes

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 45, , 117-120, 1985
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