Effects of autumn-winter feeding level on live weight and the timing and success of hogget mating were studied in 180 cashmere doe hoggets bred from ferals in each of 2 years. They were fed pasture allowances of 0.8 (L nutrition) or 3 kg DM/hd/d (H nutrition) from 10 March to 30 June in 1986 and from 1 May to 10 July in 1987. Start live weights were 13 and 13.3 kg in 1986 and 1987, respectively. In both year H and L hoggets entered a period of weight stasis. H and L group live weight increased to 15.2 and 13.9 kg respectively by 2 May 1986 and then remained almost static. In 1987 H live weight increased to 14.8 kg by 29 May before stasis. L live weights declined slightly. Entire bucks were joined from 1 May to 12 June each year. Teasers were present outside of these times. Peak incidence of puberty occurred between 14 and 29 May in both years and for both H and L treatments. More H hoggets showed oestrus than L hoggets (74 v 37% in 1986 and 62 v 42% in 1987). This reflected in a greater percent of H hoggets diagnosed as pregnant when scanned ultrasonically in July (HP/HJ) of 45% v 18% in 1986 and 50% v 34% in 1987. High nutrition appeared to improve hogget puberty rate over and above its effect on live weight in 1986 but not in 1987. Low levels of cashmere down production were recorded (57 g) and these were not influenced by differences in nutrition.

MR, Cropper

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 49, , 121-126, 1989
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