intake and liveweight change of 7-month hoggets was measured when ad lib grazing steep hill pastures containing 10, 40 and 50% dead matter above 2 cm, in autumn. Two groups of 24 sheep from a "biological" and a "conventional" farming system were used in the trial. Digestible organic matter intake/kg liveweight and liveweight change were affected by dead matter content (P<0.05) but were similar for biological and conventional hoggets (P>0.1) despite high faecal egg counts in biological sheep. Better performance on high quality pasture was attributed to a higher organic matter digestibility and lower dead matter content in the diet, possibly due to the greater accessibility of green matter in the grazed horizons.

DP, Saywell, and AJ Nixon

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 299-302, 1992
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