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Effect of lupin grain supplements on lamb birth weight and growth rate and on milk production of Merino ewes



Effect of lupin grain supplements on lamb birth weight and growth rate and on milk production of Merino ewes



Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry 17(89): 915-919



Merino ewes lambing in March on dry pastures of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) and Wimmera ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) in Western Australia were given no supplement or 150, 200, 300, 400, 500 or 600 g whole lupin seeds with 30% crude protein daily for 10 weeks starting 4 weeks before lambing. Birthweights of lambs were not affected by supplements, but milk production of ewes and growth rate and weaning weight of lambs increased linearly with increase of lupin. With 600 g lupin seeds daily, ewes produced 292 ml milk in 4 h during the first 4 weeks of lactation compared with 202 ml for ewes given no supplement; lambs of those groups weighed 31.8 and 28.6 kg at weaning. In another experiment, groups of 35 pregnant ewes were fed in yards on chaff to appetite or on chaff with 500 g lupin seeds daily, restricted to the same amount of digestible organic matter taken by the first group or to appetite. The increase in protein content of the diet from 8 to 14% increased milk production and lamb growth rate at the same energy intake. When given to appetite, the high-protein diet increased milk yield from 172 to 228 ml/4 h and weight of lambs at 10 weeks old from 12.9 to 15.7 kg.

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Accession: 000352874

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1071/ea9770915


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