In each of 2 years mixed age Coopworth ewes (1978, 58 kg; 1979, 55 kg) were randomised immediately before lambing and offered a range of herbage allowances (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 kg DM ewe) from mixed pasture of contrasting mass (1978, 2300 v 4140; 1979, 2100 v 3600 kg/ha) and lucerne (1978, 4390 kg/ha; 1979, 3000 kg/ha) until weaning at 10 weeks post-lambing. Final ewe weight, weight change, weight of lamb weaned per ewe and ewe fleece weight all increased with allowance. Lamb weaning weights started to level off above 8 kg DM/ewe but ewe gains and fleece weight continued to increase. On the higher-mass pasture ewes were lighter in 1978 and lambs were lighter in 1979. Lucerne-fed ewes lost more weight and produced less wool, but had similar (1978) or heavier (1979) lambs at weaning than pasture-fed ewes. The importance of feeding during lactation on lamb weaning weight was highlighted and management implications discussed.

DA, Clark, and MG Lambert

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 42, , 173-176, 1982
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