Grazing alternative herbages in lactation

Breeding ewe lambs, at less than one year of age, is a management tool that can be used to increase farm profit. However, there are potential negative impacts on the liveweight of progeny at weaning and the liveweight of the ewe lamb at the following breeding.

Research process

This two-year study investigated if the provision of quality herbages such as lucerne or a herb mix (containing chicory, plantain and red and white clover) would minimise these impacts.

The mixtures were offered during the lambing period and lactation.


Results indicated that offering either herb-mix or lucerne increases the performance of the young dam and her progeny above that found on a ryegrass and white clover sward.

During lactation in both years of the study, ewe lambs offered the Herb-mix or Lucerne treatments were heavier than those offered pasture.

Progeny of ewe lambs offered the herb-mix or lucerne treatment were also heavier in lactation than those born onto ryegrass white clover.

Key contact

  • Dr Rene Corner-Thomas

    Dr Rene Corner-Thomas

    Senior Lecturer- Sheep Research Centre - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Senior Lecturer - Sheep Research Centre - School of Veterinary Science


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