Currently less than 20% of the lambs slaughtered in New Zealand each year for export are killed in the five months from July to November. The feeding of high grain content diets in feedlots, grain supplements at pasture, maize silage or forage legumes to increase lamb supply over this period is discussed. Grain-based feedlot diets, supplements of pea grain fed at pasture and lupin and tick bean forage produced lamb liveweight gains of 200 to 300 g/d, that compare with gains of up to 150 g/d expected at pasture. Effects on carcass leanness and meat taste were generally small. Although usually more expensive than pasture, other feeds can be at least as profitable when pasture is in short supply premiums are paid for lambs supplied in winter and spring.

CJ, Wilde, CVP Addey, CH Knight, and M Peaker

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 51, , 203-210, 1991
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