Monday, August 17, 2020

Better grass, better gains

Recent rains have brought better grass and gains. Lambs were weighed on August 17. FAMACHA©, body condition, and dag scores were determined. Individual fecal samples were collected.

For the past two weeks (Aug 3-17), ADG ranged from -0.129 to 0.743 pounds per day and averaged 0.377 ± 0.193 lbs. per day.  The median ADG was 0.386 lbs. per day. The lambs in the supplemented group (n=37) had a higher ADG than the lambs in the pasture-only group (n=36): 0.443 ± 0.174 vs. 0.310 ± 0.190 lbs. per day.

After an 11 day acclimation period, the study was begun on June 26. For the first 52 days of the study, ADG has ranged from 0.208 to ± 0.608 and averaged 0.430 ± 0.086 lbs. per day. The median ADG is 0.432 lbs. per day. Despite being out-gained the past four weeks, the lambs in the pasture-only group still have a higher ADG than the lambs in the supplemented group: 0.436 ± 0.083 vs. 0.425 ± 0.090 lbs. per day.

FAMACHA© scores and body condition scores have not varied much during the duration of the study. No FAMACHA© scores higher than 3 have been observed. A few lambs with FAMACHA© scores of 3 have been dewormed, if they experienced weight loss. There were a lot of positive dag scores during the early part of the study, as the lambs adjusted to the clover content of the pastures. The lambs are mostly dry now. On August 17, fecals were mostly soft, not pelleted.

The lambs are rotated to a new paddock every week. There are four paddocks for each group. The lambs are grazing the paddocks for a second time. The supplemented lambs are receiving 1 lb. of whole barley per head per day.

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Katahdin Day in Western Maryland