The objective was to determine whether a fodder-beet based diet (FB) balanced for crude protein, vitamins and minerals could support similar ewe live weight (LW), body condition score (BCS) and lamb birth weight compared to a lucerne-based diet. Triplet-bearing ewes (60-70 days gestation) were randomly allocated to a lucerne-based (65% of dry matter [DM] n=12) or FB-based (56% FB bulb; n=16) diet. Lambs were weighed two hours after birth. Ewe LW (P=0.970) and BCS (P=0.165) did not differ between treatments and there was no diet-by-day gestational age (dGA) interaction. A diet-by-dGA interaction was observed for DM intake (P=0.003) where FB-fed ewes consumed less than control ewes with advancing gestation. A diet-by-sex interaction was evident for lamb birth weight (P=0.026) where female lambs from FB-fed ewes were heavier than female lambs from control-fed ewes, with no difference between males. These results indicate that supplementing a FB-based diet with additional protein, fibre and minerals can maintain triplet-bearing ewe BCS and LW and improve female lamb birth weight compared to those born to control ewes.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 79, Palmerston North, 168-170, 2019
|Download Full PDF||BibTEX Citation||Endnote Citation||Search the Proceedings|
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.