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