The liveweight gain, carrying capacity and total animal production from different pastures grazed by year old angora type wether goats were assessed during the spring, summer and autumn of two years. 'Grasslands Nui' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was sown with 'Grasslands Tahora' white clover (Trifolium repens L.), 'Grasslands Pawera' red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), or 'Grasslands Maku' lotus (Lotus pendunculatus Cav.) in December 1988 and measurements began in September 1989. Goat liveweight gain in spring was similar on all treatments averaging 130g/hd/day. Summer liveweight gain on red clover was 76g/hd/day, greater than the average of 56g/hd/day for white clover and lotus pastures. Autumn liveweight gains were not significantly different averaging 44g/hd/day. Carrying capacity was lowest on lotus pastures in all seasons. White clover pastures had the highest carrying capacity in all seasons though only significantly greater than red clover in autumn. No differences in total animal production per hectare were found in spring. Red clover, however, had 45% more animal production in summer than white clover or lotus pastures. This increased production was attributed to a greater consumption of legume due to both the dominance of red clover in the upper sward horizons and an active selection of red clover by the goats.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 61-64, 1992
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