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Effects of including chicory in perennial ryegrass-white clover leys on production and health in organic lambs

Nielsen, Bea; Thamsborg, Stig Milan; Hansen, Hanne; Ranvig, Hans and Høgh-Jensen, Henning (2009) Effects of including chicory in perennial ryegrass-white clover leys on production and health in organic lambs. Livestock Science, 125, pp. 66-73.

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Summary

Two trials were conducted to examine the effect of chicory included in or as additional plots of the ryegrass–white clover pastures on growth, naturally acquired nematode infections and selectivity of chicory by lambs. In Experiment 1, 31 weaned Texel lambs (36±7 kg) grazed either ryegrass–white clover (CTRL) or ryegrass–white clover–hicory pastures (CHIC). In Experiment 2, 30 weaned Shropshire lambs (32±7 kg) grazed either ryegrass–white clover (CTRL) or ryegrass–white clover with access to small additional chicory plots, which corresponded to 3% (CHIC-LO) or 6% of the total grazing area (CHIC-HI). No consistent differences in live weight gain and nematode faecal egg counts were observed in lambs grazing the different pasture types. Sward height on the ryegrass–white clover–chicory pasture was higher than the ryegrass–white clover pasture in the period from the 21th August to October in Exp. 1 and in the period from July to mid August in Exp. 2. In Exp. 1 ewe lambs in CHIC performed better than ram lambs (197±11 vs. 154±13 g day−1; Pb0.05 for ewe vs. ram lambs) whereas ram lambs performed best without chicory (190±13 vs. 177±11; Pb0.05 for ram vs. ewe lambs). The relative proportion of chicory eaten by lambs did not differ significantly from August to October and averaged 4.0%. Lambs showed a consistent aversion to chicory. It can be concluded that including chicory into a well-managed mixed sward of perennial ryegrass and white clover
1) improved herbage availability under conditions that are
suboptimal for ryegrass/clover swards but 2) did not give consistent effects on growth performance or reduction of nematode infection levels of grazing lambs probably due to a low intake of chicory, as lambs avoided chicory in a mixed sward of high quality. The negative selection of chicory by lambs makes a strategic utilization of chicory's potential in a mixed sward difficult under relatively fertile soil conditions.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Denmark
ISSN:1971-1413
Deposited By: Jensen, Dr Henning Høgh
ID Code:18302
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 12:39
Last Modified:29 Apr 2013 19:38
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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