Earlier trials indicated that pasture quality (% green DM in the sward) and pasture accessibility (green DM/ha) can be more limiting to ewe live-weight gain prior to mating than pasture allowance. Two trials investigated the effects of summer grazing management on subsequent pasture quality. From weaning to the start of flushing ewes were grazed lax (residual >2000 kg DM/ha) or hard (residual <1500 kg DM/ha). A live-weight difference of 4 kg occurred at the start of flushing and reduced to 2.5 kg at mating. Main effect results showed that at similar green allowances, ewes flushed on pasture which had previously been hard grazed had live-weight gains 20 to 30 g/d more than ewes on lax grazed pasture. There were no differences in ovulation rate but he live-weight results suggest that there would on average be an advantage to flushing on hard grazed pasture. Wool production was affected similarly to live weight. Management implications are discussed.

TP, Hughes, AR Sykes, and DP Poppi

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 44, , 109-112, 1984
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