Barley grain supplementation in late gestation to improve lamb survival in twin-bearing Merino ewes grazing pasture of high biomass and quality

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

Lamb mortality from birth to weaning is the most prominent factor leading to the poor reproductive performance of Merinos. Providing a high starch feed prior to lambing can increase colostrum production, which has the ability to increase passive immunity transfer to the lamb following birth, increasing survival. To determine whether lamb survival to marking was increased by this method when grazing abundant pasture, naturally joined twin-bearing Merino ewes (n=240) were supplemented with barley grain in the last two weeks of gestation and first two weeks of lambing. Lamb survival (81%) was similar in supplemented and control treatments. This study indicates that when large quantities of quality pasture are available there may be no increase in the survival of twin-born lambs due to barley grain supplementation of ewes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication31st Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationAnimal welfare - meeting consumer needs and increasing productivity
Pages1-2
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event31st Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of Animal Production: Animal Production 2016 - Stamford Grand Adelaide, Glenelg, Australia
Duration: 04 Jul 201607 Jul 2016
http://www.asap.asn.au/2016-conference/ (Conference website)
http://www.asap.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AP2016-Proceedings_Brief-Communications_LR.pdf (Conference proceedings)

Conference

Conference31st Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of Animal Production
CountryAustralia
CityGlenelg
Period04/07/1607/07/16
Internet address

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