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The effect of supplementary feeding in relation to sward height during the pre- and post-mating periods on reproductive performance of brecon cheviot ewes

  • R.G. Gunn (a1), T.J. Maxwell (a1), D.A. Sim (a1), J.R. Jones (a2) and M.E. James (a2)...

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Sward growth rate and height decline under autumn grazing in the UK. This eventually depresses ewe intake, live weight and body condition and may, as a consequence, reduce reproductive performance. The provision of supplementary feeding is a strategic measure to avoid this but requires quantification in relation to measurable variables such as sward height and stage of the reproductive cycle.

A management decision rule for supplementary feeding over the mating period, which is currently operated in the MLURI upland system studies, requires that, in order to maintain both body weight and condition until the completion of the second cycle of mating, concentrated feed be introduced when sward height (herbage mass) is ≤3.5 cm (≤1200 kg DM/ha), be increased when height is ≤3.0 cm ( ≤ 1000 kg DM/ha) and ad lib, hay be introduced when height is ≤ 2.5 cm (≤ 750 kg DM/ha).

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The effect of supplementary feeding in relation to sward height during the pre- and post-mating periods on reproductive performance of brecon cheviot ewes

  • R.G. Gunn (a1), T.J. Maxwell (a1), D.A. Sim (a1), J.R. Jones (a2) and M.E. James (a2)...

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