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The energy requirements of sheep for maintenance and gain. 2. Grazing sheep



The energy requirements of sheep for maintenance and gain. 2. Grazing sheep



J. Agric. Sci, 58: 187



In grazing sheep intake of DOM was estimated with chromic oxide and N in faeces. In the first of 4 trials to measure maintenance and gain on pasture 12 wethers of 112 lb, 13 Romney ewes of 110 lb and 13 of 166 lb were grazed at maintenance for 17 weeks. Daily intake of DOM for maintenance for a 100-lb sheep was 1.48 +or- 0.08 lb. Daily intake of DOM by 36 weaned Romney ewe lambs of 56 lb grazing for 8 weeks was 0.93 (+or- 0.07) + 0.90 g, where g = gain in lb per day. Those 2 trials gave the DOM intake in lb for maintenance as 0.052 W0.72 lb. In another trial 8 Southdowns, 12 Romneys, 8 Border Leicesters and 12 Border Leicester X Romney grazed for 12 weeks. Daily intake of DOM for maintenance for a 100-lb sheep was 1.63 +or- 0.13 lb. In the last trial, lasting 8 weeks, with 7 and 8 ewes on high and low intakes, daily intake of DOM for maintenance for a 100-lb sheep was 1.36 +or- 0.06 lb. The estimated requirements for maintenance of grazing sheep are greatly in excess of those of pen-fed sheep and it was thought that the difference was caused by the increase in energy cost of walking and feeding, together with exposure to wind, rain and cold. The energy cost of gain is less in grazing sheep than in pen-fed sheep, possibly because maintenance cost declines as availability of pasture and gains increase.

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Accession: 014246185

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DOI: 10.1017/s0021859600010145



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