The objective of this study was to compare lamb growth and performance on three forages over summer in a large scale, replicated experiment. The three forage treatments were new spring-sown pasture (cv.Bealey perennial ryegrass and cv.Apex white clover), hybrid leafy turnip (cv.Hunter), and a predominant white clover sward. The study was conducted over 28 days, with 28 days preceding the study as the herbage adjustment period. Entire male lambs (n=270) were allocated to one of the three treatments, balanced for live weight at day -28 (D-28). Live weights and liveweightgains were measured at D-28, -14, 0, 14 and 28. Herbage heights were measured pre- and post-grazing toensure lambs were receiving a herbage allowance of at least three times their potential intake. Herbage quality parameters were also measured post-grazing. Liveweight gains were different (P<0.05) between treatment groups, being 311±10.2, 222±10.1, and 160±10.2 g/day for clover, Hunter, and new pasture, respectively. The results showed that Hunter and clover produced superior lamb growth compared to new pasture over summer for the 28 day trial period.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 67, Wanaka, 121-125, 2007
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