Track 1-08

Description

Approximately half of the usable land area in New Zealand is under grasslands (Saggar 2001). Production of lamb meat is seasonal in New Zealand (Fisher 2004) with the majority of lambs born in the spring and slaughtered in late summer and autumn depending on the international demand (Clemens and Babcock 2004) and pasture growth pattern. Finishing lambs outside this window using high quality pastures would help to facilitate a continuous supply of meat to the domestic and international markets. Charlton and Belgrave (1992) and Kemp et al. (2010) reported that the use of herb-clover mixes instead of perennial ryegrass/white clover swards would facilitate finishing lambs to a high carcass weight or in a shorter time period. Therefore, a research was undertaken in four different seasons: early spring, late spring, summer and autumn during 2011/2012 with the hypothesis that the average daily gain (ADG) and average live weight per ha per day of finishing lambs would be greater in herb-clover mixes than on a perennial ryegrass/white clover sward.

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Herb and Clover Mixes Increase Average Daily Gain (ADG) of Finishing Lambs in Different Seasons

Approximately half of the usable land area in New Zealand is under grasslands (Saggar 2001). Production of lamb meat is seasonal in New Zealand (Fisher 2004) with the majority of lambs born in the spring and slaughtered in late summer and autumn depending on the international demand (Clemens and Babcock 2004) and pasture growth pattern. Finishing lambs outside this window using high quality pastures would help to facilitate a continuous supply of meat to the domestic and international markets. Charlton and Belgrave (1992) and Kemp et al. (2010) reported that the use of herb-clover mixes instead of perennial ryegrass/white clover swards would facilitate finishing lambs to a high carcass weight or in a shorter time period. Therefore, a research was undertaken in four different seasons: early spring, late spring, summer and autumn during 2011/2012 with the hypothesis that the average daily gain (ADG) and average live weight per ha per day of finishing lambs would be greater in herb-clover mixes than on a perennial ryegrass/white clover sward.