Two trials were conducted to assess the effect of kiwifruit vinegar on a number of production parameters in sheep. Trial A evaluated the effect of kiwifruit vinegar (8.2g/100ml, as acetic acid) on lamb liveweight gain, fleece production (midside growth rate, yield and colour), and internal parasite burdens. Trial B evaluated the effect of kiwifruit vinegar on two-tooth liveweight change prior to mating, and subsequent fertility. In trial A 138 ewe lambs were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: i) "Extender 100" Albendazole drench capsule + 10 ml vinegar, ii) "Extender 100" Albendazole drench capsule only; iii) normal drenching (trigger level 1500 epg) + 10 ml vinegar, iv) normal drenching. The only trait for which there was strong evidence of an effect was wool yield which decreased in response to kiwifruit vinegar. Vinegar treated lambs tended to have reduced faecal egg counts during the period of the trial. In trial B 140 two-tooth ewes were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: i) 15 ml vinegar administered at 12, 8, 4 and 1 weeks prior to mating; ii) control. Reproductive status was assessed by ultrasound 38 days after removal of the ram. No significant differences were found in liveweight or in reproductive status between the group groups. Evidence from these two trials would suggest that any effect of kiwifruit vinegar on performance traits in sheep is small and not necessarily beneficial.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 53, , 351-354, 1993
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