Friday, June 28, 2019

Day 63

Lambs were weighed on June 26. For the past 14 days, gain ranged from 8.6 to 18.6 lbs. and averaged 13.9 ± 2.4 lbs. The median gain was 13.4 lbs. Looking at the data another way, ADG ranged from 0.614 to 1.33 lbs. per day and averaged 0.990 ± 0.174 lbs. per day. The median ADG was 0.957 lbs. per day.
Mary Beth Bennett (WVU) scans the RFID.

The ram lambs had the highest ADG, 1.04 ± 0.192 lbs. per day. The short-scrotum (SC) lambs had a higher ADG than the wether lambs: 1.01 ± 0.167 vs. 0.93 ± 0.15 lbs. per day.  For the first 63 days, ADG has ranged from 0.454 to 1.00 lbs. per day and averaged 0.774 ± 0.110 lbs. per day. The median ADG is 0.763 lbs. per day. 

Lambs moving to their new pasture.

For the first 63 days, the ram lambs had the highest ADG: 0.813
± 0.136 lbs. per day. The short-scrotum lambs had a higher ADG than the wether lambs:  0.787 ± 0.101 lbs. per day vs. 0.732 ± 0.76 lbs. per day.  The ADG of the ram lambs is 11 percent higher than the wether lambs. The short-scrotum lambs are gaining 8 percent more than the wether lambs.


  Sex No. Start wt. 63-d weight 63-d ADG ADG ratio
  Ram 21 45.0 ± 10.3 96.3 ± 17.0 0.813 ± 0.136 111%
  Short scrotum 18 45.1 ± 10.9 94.7 ± 15.5 0.787 ± 0.101 108%
  Wether 25 43.5 ± 10.9 89.6 ± 13.7 0.732 ± 0.076 100%
  ALL 65 44.4 ± 10.6 64.1 ± 13.9 0.774 ± 0.110 100%
These are raw data. It is not known if any of the observed differences are statistically significant.

No lambs have required deworming. A ram lamb was removed from the study for health reasons.

Warm and cool season forage mixes.
The lambs were moved to a new five acre paddock. Four acres are planted in a pasture mix of cool season grasses, legumes, and forbs. One acre is planted in a warm season mix.  The lambs are being hand-fed grain twice daily, at approximately 3% of body weight. The grain is a balanced mix of whole barley, soybean meal, and minerals.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Day 49

The lambs were weighed on June 12. For the past 21 days, gain ranged from 4.8 to 24.2 lbs. and averaged 14.8 ± 3.9 lbs. The median gain was 15.2 lbs. The 21-d ADG ranged from 0.229 to 1.15 lbs. per day and averaged 0.706 ± 0.187 lbs. per day. The median ADG was 0.724 lbs. per day. One lamb (ram lamb) lost weight since the last weighing on May 22.


For the 49 day duration of the project, ADG ranged from 0.192 to 1.07 lbs. per day and averaged 0.704 ± 0.142 lbs. per day. The median ADG is 0.722 lbs. per day. The ram lambs and short-scrotum "rams" are gaining similarly, about 7% more than the wether lambs.

So far, no lambs have required anthelmintic treatment.

  Sex No. Start wt. 28-day wt. 49-day wt. 49-d ADG
  Ram 22 45.0 ± 10.3 65.0 ± 14.0 80.4 ± 17.5 0.729 ± 0.275
  Short scrotum 18 45.1 ± 10.9 65.4 ± 14.6 80.5 ± 15.4 0.718 ± 0.100
  Wether 25 43.5 ± 10.9 62.4 ± 13.7 76.6 ± 12.9 0.677 ± 0.134
  ALL 65 44.4 ± 10.6 64.1 ± 13.9 78.9 ± 15.2 0.704 ± 0.142
These are raw data. It is not known if any of the observed differences are statistically significant.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Plentiful forage

Upon arrival, the lambs grazed cool season grasses, mostly fescue, in a wooded pasture area. They are now grazing a paddock that was established last fall.


It is a pasture mix consisting of grazing tolerant orchardgrasses, Montana Meadow Brome, Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass, Freedom! Red Clover, Regalgraze Ladino Clover, and Forage Chicory. Before the lambs were given access to it, a cutting of baleage was taken off.


There is another four acre paddock containing a similar mix. A warm season pasture mix was recently planted. It is a one acre paddock. The mix includes cow peas, buckwheat, sunflowers, and sunn hemp. Both pasture mixes offer the lambs a proverbial "salad bar."


In addition to pasture, the sixty-five lambs are being hand-fed a mixed grain ration twice per day. The grain mix consists of whole barley, soybean meal, and minerals. The rate of supplementation is ~5% of body weight (3 lbs. per head per day, split into equal feedings). The lambs also have access to a bale of orchardgrass hay. Salt is available free choice in several mineral feeders. Fresh water is plentiful. Shelter is provided under a large (open) roofed structure.

Lamb Served in Dining Halls

For the second year in a row, the lamb from our comparison study of ram, wether, and short-scrotum lambs was served in the dining halls at t...