Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Effect of herbage allowance and concentrate food level offered to ewes in late pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance

  • L. E. R. Dawson (a1), A. F. Carson (a1) (a2), D. J. Kilpatrick (a1) and A. S. Laidlaw (a2) (a3)

Abstract

Two experiments were undertaken to investigate the effect of herbage allowance and concentrate food level offered to twin-bearing ewes in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance. In each study, 96 twin-bearing Greyface (Border Leicester × Scottish Blackface), Rouge × Greyface and Texel × Greyface ewes were used. In experiment 1, the ewes were allocated to eight treatments consisting of two herbage allowances (1·3 and 2·6 kg herbage dry matter per ewe per day) and four concentrate food levels ranging from zero to 1000 g per day. In experiment 2, ewes were offered four herbage allowances (1·3, 1·75, 2·2 and 2·6 kg herbage dry matter per ewe per day) and zero or 500 g concentrates per day. In experiment 1, herbage allowance and concentrate food level had no significant effect on lamb birth weight, lamb mortality or lamb performance up to weaning. Herbage dry matter intake decreased linearly with increasing concentrate food level with a substitution rate of 18 g of herbage dry matter per 100 g concentrate food level. In experiment 2, lamb birth weight increased with increasing herbage allowance (P < 0·01) and with increasing concentrate food level (P < 0·01). However, lamb performance to weaning was unaffected by late pregnancy nutrition. The satisfactory levels of performance obtained with ewes offered grass-only diets in late pregnancy indicates that grazed grass is a high nutritive value food for twin-bearing ewes in late pregnancy.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Agricultural and Food Research Council. 1993. Energy and protein requirements of ruminants. An advisory manual prepared by the AFRC Technical Committee on Responses to Nutrients. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxford.
Carson, A. F., Dawson, L. E. R., Irwin, D. and Kilpatrick, D. J. 2004. The effect of management system at lambing and flock genetics on lamb output and labour requirements on lowland sheep farms. Animal Science 78: 439450.
Carson, A. F., Irwin, D. and Kilpatrick, D. J. 2001. A comparison of Scottish Blackface and Cheviot ewes and five sire breeds in terms of lamb output at weaning in hill sheep systems. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 137: 221233.
Combellas, J. and Hodgson, J. 1979. Herbage intake and milk production by grazing dairy cows. 1. The effects of variation in herbage mass and daily herbage allowance in a short-term trial. Grass and Forage Science 34: 209214.
Connolly, L. 2000. Labour on sheep farms. Proceedings of the 27th meeting of the Irish Grassland and Animal Production Association, p. 82.
Dawson, L. E. R. and Carson, A. F. 2002. Effects of crossbred ewe genotype and ram genotype on ewe prolificacy, lamb viability and lamb output in the lowland sector. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 139: 169181.
Dawson, L. E. R., Carson, A. F. and Kilpatrick, D. J. 1999. The effect of the digestible undegradable protein concentration of concentrates and protein source offered to ewes in late pregnancy on colostrums production and lamb performance. Animal Feed Science and Technology 82: 2136.
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 1996. An economic analysis of ewe flock performance in Northern Ireland, 1994. Studies in Agriculture and Food Economcis, Department of Agriculture, Belfast.
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 2003. Farm business data 2003. Economics and Statistics Division, DARD.
Flannagan, S. and Kelly, W. 2002. Extended grazing as an alternative to housing: an option. Irish Grassland Association, sheep conference, Co. Carlow, 02 2002, pp. 17.
Givens, D. I., Everington, J. M. and Adamson, A. H. 1989. The nutritive value of spring-grown herbage produced on farms throughout England and Wales over four years. 1. The effect of stage of maturity and other factors on chemical composition, apparent digestibility and energy values measured in vivo. Animal Feed Science and Technology 27: 157172.
McEwan, A. D., Fisher, E. W., Selman, I. E. and Penhale, W. J. 1970. A turbidity test for the estimation of immune globulin levels in neonatal calf serum. Clinical Chemical Acta 27: 155163.
Maund, B. A., Duffell, S. J. and Winkler, C. E. 1980. Lamb mortality in relation to prolificacy. Experimental Husbandry 36: 99112.
Mayes, R. W., Lamb, C. S. and Colgrove, P. M. 1986. The use of dosed and herbage n-alkanes as markers for the determination of herbage intake. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 107: 161170.
Meijs, J. A. C. and Hoekstra, J. A. 1984. Concentrate supplementation of grazing dairy cows. 1. Effect of concentrate intake and herbage allowance on herbage intake. Grass and Forage Science 61: 147166.
Morgan, D. E. 1973. Developments of laboratory methods of estimating digestibility and energy value of forages. In ADAS Science Arm annual report for 1972, pp. 98103. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.
O'Doherty, J. V. and Crosby, T. F. 1997. The effect of diet in late pregnancy on colostrum production and immunoglobulin absorption in sheep. Animal Science 64: 8796.
Orr, R. J. and Treacher, T. T. 1989. The effect of concentrate level on the intake of grass silages by ewes in late pregnancy. Animal Production 48: 109120.
Peyraud, J. L., Comeron, E. A., Wade, M. H. and Lemaire, G. 1996. The effect of daily herbage allowance, herbage mass and animals factors upon herbage intake by grazing dairy cows. Annales de Zootechnie 45: 201217.
Pippard, C. J., Porter, M. G., Steen, R. W. J., Gordon, F. J., Mayne, C. S., Agnew, R. E., Unsworth, E. F. and Kilpatrick, D. J. 1996. A method for obtaining and storing uniform silage for feeding experiments. Animal Feed Science and Technology 57: 8795.
Russel, A. J. F. 1984. Means of assessing the adequacy of nutrition of pregnant ewes. Livestock Production Science 11: 429436.
Russel, A. J. F., Doney, J. M. and Gunn, R. G. 1969. Subjective assessment of body fat in live sheep. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 72: 451454.
Sayers, H. J. 1999. The effect of sward characteristics and level and type of supplement on grazing behaviour, herbage intake and performance of lactating dairy cows. Ph.D. thesis, The Queen's University of Belfast.
Stakelum, G. 1986. Herbage intake of grazing dairy cows. 3. Effects of herbage mass, herbage allowance and concentrate feeding on the herbage intake of dairy cows grazing primary spring grass. Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 25: 4151.
Stakelum, G. 1996. Practical grazing management for dairy cows. Irish Grassland and Animal Production Association 30: 3345.
Wilkinson, S. C. and Chestnutt, D. M. B. 1988. Effect of level of food intake in mid and late pregnancy on the performance of breeding ewes. Animal Production 47: 411419.

Keywords

Effect of herbage allowance and concentrate food level offered to ewes in late pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance

  • L. E. R. Dawson (a1), A. F. Carson (a1) (a2), D. J. Kilpatrick (a1) and A. S. Laidlaw (a2) (a3)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed