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The maintenance requirement of the adult sheep

  • T. B. Wood (a1) and J. W. Capstick (a1)


In attempting to interpret the results of two series of sheep feeding experiments, we have been confronted with the fact that the sum of the accepted figure for maintenance requirement and the allowance for the live weight increase produced does not account for the whole of the ration consumed. Sheep averaging 100 lb. live weight folded on swedes in the winter usually eat per week at least 100 lb. of swedes, 7 lb. of hay and 3½ lb. of cake and corn. Such a ration supplies per week about 11½ lb. of starch equivalent.

Sheep fed in this way normally put on per week about 2 lb. of live weight increase, starting from store condition. It is true that figures for the composition of the live weight increase put on by store sheep are somewhat scanty, being practically confined to a series of analyses by Kern and Wattenberg (Journ. Landw. 1880) which give the composition of the live weight increase of store sheep as 44 per cent, water, 45 per cent. fat and 11 per cent, protein, which corresponds to 2200 calories or 2 lb. of starch equivalent per lb.

The requirement for producing 2 lb. of such increase would therefore be 4 lb. of starch equivalent per week.

Measurements of the maintenance requirement of sheep are likewise scanty. There are no recent measurements, but Armsby has recalculated the experiments of Henneberg, Kellner, Hagemann and Wolff, the most recent of which were made in 1893. These workers used two methods. The more scientific method of estimating by respiration experiments the storage of fat on a known ration and arriving at the maintenance requirement by deduction was used by Henneberg, Kellner and Hagemann. Recalculating and averaging their results, which differ widely, Armsby arrives at an average figure of 719 calories per day of net energy for the maintenance requirement of the 100 lb. sheep.



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page 325 note 1 Armsby, and Moulton, , The Animal, as a Converter of Matter and Energy. New York, 1925

page 326 note 1 Deighton, , Proc. R. S. B. 95, 1923

The maintenance requirement of the adult sheep

  • T. B. Wood (a1) and J. W. Capstick (a1)


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