The effects of grazing forage legumes on the performance of finishing lambs

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-493
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural Science
Volume142
Issue number4
DOI
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
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Abstract

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of grazing legumes and ryegrass on the performance of Suffolk×Mule finishing lambs in terms of growth rate, days to finish and carcass characteristics. Replicate plots (n=2) of red clover (Trifolium pratense), lucerne (Medicago sativa), lotus (Lotus corniculatus) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) were established in May 1999 at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Aberystwyth, and maintained at a similar vegetative growth stage. From the beginning of September 1999 each forage was grazed by 10 wether lambs and 10 ewe lambs. The lambs grazed the experimental plots from weaning until they reached fat-class 3L. There was a significant decline in crude protein (CP) concentration in lucerne (−2·6 g/kg DM/day, P