Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Gains slow

Lambs were weighed on August 3. FAMACHA©, body condition and dag scores were determined. Gains slowed down as the lambs began making their second pass through their rotational grazing systems. This was particularly true of the lambs not receiving supplemental energy. The lambs are moved to a new paddock every 7 days. Each grazing system has 4 paddocks.

For the previous two weeks, the supplemented lambs had a higher ADG than the pasture-only group:  0.384 ± 0.203 lbs. vs. 0.202 ± 0.141 lbs. per day.For the first 38 days of the study, ADG has ranged from 0.211 to 0.716 lbs. per day and averaged 0.426 ± 0.114 lbs. per day. The mean ADG is 0.421 lbs. per day. No lamb remaining in the study has failed to gain weight.

So far, the lambs in the pasture-only group have a higher ADG than the lambs in the supplemented group:  0.457 ± 0.114 lbs. vs. 0.395 ± 0.107 lbs. per day. The supplemented lambs have gained more steadily, whereas the pasture-only lambs have had erratic gains, failing to gain weight for the first 10 days of the study, gaining a pound per day for the next 14 days and now gaining only two tenths of a pound for the past 14 days.

Lambs in both groups have had similar FAMACHA© and body condition scores.  One lamb was dewormed today. It had a FAMACHA© score of 3 and had lost weight. A few of the lambs had soft stools, but none had scours. Lambs that previously had positive dag scores have all dried up. Fecal samples were collected from a third of the lambs today to determine parasite loads. With improving FAMACHA© scores and dry weather, fecal egg counts are expected to be low.

Until recently, weather had been hot (above 90 degrees) and rainfall sparse. Temperatures have cooled off and rain is expected tomorrow.

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Katahdin Day in Western Maryland