The relationship was investigated between the number of days each fortnight spent grazing Lotus corniculatus (lotus) or ryegrass/white clover and dags, flystrike and growth rates in lambs. Lambs which grazed lotus for 7 or more days each fortnight had significantly fewer dags (86-113g) and significantly higher live-weight gains (160-104 g/day) than lambs grazed on ryegrass/white clover (154g, P<0.01 and 73g/day, P<0.05 for dags and live- weight gain respectively). Lambs which grazed lotus continuously had significantly higher live-weight gains than lambs which grazed lotus for 7 or less days each fortnight. Flystrike was positively correlated with dags although this was less obvious over time-period 1 when the incidence of flystrike was low. The incidence of flystrike differed significantly between treatment groups ((2 P<0.001), ranging from 36% of lambs struck in the all ryegrass/white clover groups to 7% in the all lotus groups. Wool growth, faecal dry matter content and faecal nematode egg count (FEC) did not differ between treatments. These results confirm the potential of lotus as a tool in the management of dags and flystrike but indicate that lambs will need to be grazed on lotus for 7 or more days each fortnight in order to realise significant benefits.

DM, Leathwick, and DS Atkinson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 56, , 99-102, 1996
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