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Massey University (2004)

Nutritional studies on Lotus corniculatus containing condensed tannins to increase reproductive rate and lamb growth under commercial dryland farming conditions

Ramírez-Restrepo, Carlos Alberto

Titre : Nutritional studies on Lotus corniculatus containing condensed tannins to increase reproductive rate and lamb growth under commercial dryland farming conditions

Auteur : Ramírez-Restrepo, Carlos Alberto

Université de soutenance : Massey University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science 2004

Résumé
Five rotational grazing experiments were carried out at Massey University’s Riverside farm, in the Wairarapa, on the East Coast of the Southern North Island, New Zealand, to compare the effects of feeding Lotus corniculatus L. (birdsfoot trefoil ; cv. Grasslands Goldie) or perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)/white clover (Trifolium repens) dominant pasture upon sheep year round productivity. These studies also investigated under grazing, seasonal and annual net herbage accumulation rate and seasonal dynamics of undisturbed (i.e. non-grazed) net herbage accumulation rate of L. corniculatus relative to that of grass-dominant pasture. Aspects of in vivo digestibility of dry matter (DMD), organic matter (OMD), digestible organic matter in the dry matter (DOMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) concentration of L. corniculatus at different stages of maturity over the spring, summer and autumn were investigated in three indoor digestion trials. 1. Two field experiments (Chapter 2) were conducted during spring to assess the effects of grazing mixed age undrenched ewes on L. corniculatus (n = 50) or pasture (n = 50) and their lambs (mainly twins) on live weight (LW), wool production, faecal nematode egg count (FEC) and dag score. In Experiment 1 (18 October 2000 to 21 January 2001) and Experiment 2 (3 October 2001 to 2 January 2002) both forages were fed ad libitum. Total condensed tannin (CT) concentration in the diet selected was 24 to 27 g CT/kg DM for L. corniculatus and 1.4 to 1.5 g CT/kg DM for pasture. The LW gain, weaning LW and wool production were consistently greater (P < 0.001) for lambs grazing L. corniculatus, in either Experiment 1 (258 vs. 189 g/day ; 36.1 vs. 30.1kg ; 1.17 vs. 0.98 kg) and in Experiment 2 (247 vs. 162 g/day ; 31.8 vs. 24.1kg ; 1.17 vs. 0.81 kg), respectively. Ewe and lamb dag scores were strongly and positively correlated with dag weight (P < 0.001) and generally increased with time in sheep grazing pasture, whilst grazing on L. corniculatus consistently reduced dag score. FEC in ewes grazing pasture showed a post-parturient rise (PPR) following lambing, whilst ewes grazing L. corniculatus had a reduced PPR in FEC. Up to day 70, FEC in lambs grazing L. corniculatus was lower than that for lambs grazing pasture, but between day 70 and the end of both experiments (approximately day 90), FEC in lambs grazing L. corniculatus increased to similar values as for pasture-fed lambs.

Mots clés : Lotus corniculatus ; Sheep ; Lambs ; Feeding and feeds ; Feed utilisation efficiency ; Reproduction ; Growth ; New Zealand ; Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences, Animal Production, Animal nutrition

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Page publiée le 22 juin 2013, mise à jour le 7 août 2017