Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Effects of clover in the diet of grazed lambs on production and carcass composition

  • J. E. Vipond (a1), G. Swift (a1), R. C. Noble (a2) and G. Horgan (a3)

Abstract

The effect of grazing clover on ewes and lambs was studied using nitrogen-fertilized grass (G) and grass/white clover pastures (GC) containing proportionately 0·18 clover. Carcasses of lambs grazed on GC were significantly heavier than carcasses of lambs grazed on G pastures. An interaction with weaning occurred. Carcasses from lambs grazed on GC for 53 days post weaning were 2·3 kg heavier (F < 0·01) but lambs slaughtered at weaning had similar carcass weights. Diet had no effect on relative joint components of carcasses. The effect of clover in the diet on carcass weight was attributed to higher levels of protein retention.

Analysis of the fatty acid composition of intramuscular and subcutaneous and perirenal lipids indicated small but significant effects of diet. Lean tissue lipids of lambs grazing clover showed significant increases in C18:2 and reduced C20: 5 fatty acids. In tissue fats there were small increases in C14:0, C16:0 and C18:2 with reduced C18:1 content.

Twin suckled lambs grazing GC for 94 days from turn-out in early April showed increased live-weight gain over lambs on G of 336 v. 287 g/day (s.e.d. 84; P < 0.001). Post weaning live-weight gain of lambs was 173 and 221 g/day on G and GC respectively. Sward height was maintained at 5.18 and 5.24 (s.e.d. 0.075) cm on G and GC paddocks by adjusting ewe numbers. GC pastures carried proportionately 0.82 of the stock on G pastures but output of lamb was similar at 1289 and 1247 kg/ha for G and GC respectively.

Results showed that the production penalty of lower stocking rate associated with grass/clover v. grass fertilized with 190 kg nitrogen per ha was ameliorated by higher lamb live-weight gain and carcass weight without change in joint composition or nutritionally significant change in fatty acid composition of carcass tissues.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Beever, D. E., Losada, H. R., Cammell, S. B., Evans, R. T. and Haines, M. J. 1986. Effect of forage species and season on nutrient digestion and supply in grazing cattle. British Journat of Nutrition 56: 209225.
Bircham, J. S. 1981. Herbage growth and utilisation under continuous stocking management. Ph.D. thesis, University of Edinburgh.
Black, J. L. and Kenney, P. A. 1984. Factors affecting diet selection by sheep. II. Height and density of pasture. Australian journal of Agricultural Research 35: 565578.
Christie, W. W., Noble, R. C. and Moore, J. H. 1970. Determination of lipid classes by a gas-chromatographic procedure. Analyst, London 95: 940944.
Clark, H. 1988. Beef and sheep output from grass/white clover swards. In The grassland debate: while clover versus applied nitrogen. ADAS-RASE conference, Stoncleigh.
Cuthbertson, A., Harrington, G. and Smith, R. J. 1972. Tissue separation — to assess beef and lamb variation. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Production, 1972, pp. 113122.
Davies, A. 1990. Utilisation of grass and clover in continuously grazed Lolium perenne/Trifolium repens sward. Proceedings of the first congress of the European Society of Agronomy, session 1, pp. 6668.
Dowman, M. G. and Collins, F. C. 1982. The use of enzymes to predict the digestibility of animal feeds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 33: 689696.
Folch, J., Lees, M. and Stanley, G. H. S. 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissue. Journal of Biological Chemistry 226: 497509.
Gibb, M. J. and Treacher, T. T. 1983. The performance of lactating ewes offered diets containing different proportions of fresh perennial ryegrass and white clover. Animal Production 37: 433440.
Hodgson, J. 1990. Grazing management. Science into practice. Longman, Harlow.
Hopkins, A. 1986. Botanical composition of permanent grassland in England and Wales in relation to soil, environment and management factors. Grass and Forage Science 41: 237246.
Howard, D. W., Griffiths, M. S. and James, C. 1990. Clover development and animal production under continuous grazing. In Nnv developments in sheep production (ed. Slade, C. F. R. and Lawrence, T. L. J.), occasional publication, British Society of Animal Production, no. 14, pp. 129130.
Laidlaw, A. S. and Steen, R. W. J. 1989. Turnover of grass laminae and white clover leaves in mixed swards continuously grazed with steers at a high N and low N fertiliser level. Grass and Forage Science 44: 249258.
Lawes Agricultural Trust. 1984. GENSTAT V, version 2.2. Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden.
McDonald, P. and Henderson, A. R. 1964. Determination of water-soluble carbohydrates in grass. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 15: 395398.
Mead, R. and Curnow, R. N. 1983. Statistical methods in agriculture and experimental biology. Chapman and Hall, London.
Meat and Livestock Commission. 1980. Commercial sheep production yearbook, 1979-80. Economics, Livestock and Marketing Services, Meat and Livestock Commission.
Milne, J. A., Hodgson, J., Thompson, R., Souter, W. G. and Barthram, G. T. 1982. The diet ingested by sheep grazing swards differing in white clover and perennial ryegrass content. Grass and Forage Science 37:209218.
Purchas, R. W., Johnson, C. B., Birch, E. J., Winger, R. J., Hagyard, C. J. and Keogh, R. G. 1986. Flavour studies with beef and lamb. Department of Animal Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
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.
Shand, J. H. and Noble, R. C. 1980. Quantification of lipid mass by a liquid scintillation counting procedure following charring on thin-layer plates. Analytical Biochemistry 101: 427434.
Swift, G., Vipond, J. E., McClelland, T. H., FitzSimons, J., Milne, J. A. and Hunter, E. A. 1993. A comparison of diploid and tetraploid perennial ryegrass and tetraploid ryegrass-white clover swards under continuous sheep grazing at controlled sward heights. 1. Sward characteristics. Grass and Forage Science In press.
Thomson, D. J. 1984. The nutritive value of white clover. In Forage legumes (ed. Thomson, D. J.), occasional symposium, British Grassland Society, no. 16, pp. 7892.
Van Soest, P. J. and Wine, R. H. 1967. Use of detergents in the analysis of fibrous feeds. IV. Determination of plant cell-wall constituents. Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists 50: 5055.
Vipond, J. E., Swift, G., McClelland, T. H., FitzSimons, J., Milne, J. A. and Hunter, E. A. 1993. A comparison of diploid and tetraploid perennial ryegrass and tetraploid ryegrass-white clover swards under continuous sheep grazing at controlled sward heights. 2. Animal production. Grass and Forage Science In press.
Woledge, J., Reyneri, A., Tewson, V. and Parsons, A. J. 1992. The effect of cutting on the proportions of perennial ryegrass and white clover in mixtures. Grass and Forage Science 47:169179.

Keywords

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