he New Zealand sheep dairy industry is growing (Peterson & Prichard 2015). Several large commercial sheep dairy farms remove lambs from their dams within the first four days of life. In some systems, lambs have access to milk replacer (MR) ad libitum and a grain-based solid feed (Bimczok et al. 2005). Compared to young ruminants fed a milk-only diet, early access to solid feed stimulates rumen development (Baldwin et al. 2004) and earlier onset of rumination (Khan et al. 2016) to allow early weaning off MR (Bimczok et al. 2005). Earlier rumen development through access to meal may also encourage earlier grazing of pasture and greater rumination, thereby supporting early weaning. The potential to replace meal with early pasture access as the sole solid feed source to support early weaning has not been evaluated...
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 77, Rotorua, 18-22, 2017
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