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Intake and selection for white clover by grazing lambs in response to gastrointestinal parasitism

By G. P. Cosgrove, J. H. Niezen

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A study was conducted at Palmerston North, New Zealand to determine if lambs grazing at pasture would enhance their nutrient intake in response to parasitism, by selecting more white clover from a mixed grass-clover pasture. The trial used a split-plot design with two grass-clover mixtures as main plots, two levels of parasite (Trichostrongylus colubriformis and Ostertagia circumcincta [Teladorsagia circumcincta]) infection as the split-plot, and two replications. Lambs with a low level of infection (suppressive drenched with anthelmintic at 2-weekly intervals to restrict parasite infection; SD) or with a moderate level of infection (drenched whenever group mean faecal egg count reached a trigger level 1000 eggs per g fresh faeces; TD) grazed together on either perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and white clover (Trifolium repens) (RWC), or on browntop (Agrostis capillaris) and white clover (BWC). Plots were continuously stocked with trial lambs from early-summer (January) to early-winter (June). Additional put-and-take lambs were used to maintain sward surface height at 5 cm. A sub-group of 12 lambs, comprised of 4 SD and 8 TD, similar in mean liveweight to their cohorts, was used to determine individual herbage intake, diet composition and diet in vivo digestibility over a 10-day period in autumn. This period was timed to coincide with the rise towards the trigger level in the egg count of TD lambs. Compared with lambs grazing BWC, those grazing RWC had higher liveweight gain (280 vs. 156 g day-1) and higher herbage intake (1.57 vs. 1.17 kg DM head-1 day-1). The proportion of clover in the diet was higher for TD than for SD lambs on BWC (31% vs. 24%), but not on RWC, where the diet contained a higher proportion of white clover (51

Date 2000
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 66
Issue 1/2
Pages 71-85
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00072-6
Language English
Author Address AgResearch, Grasslands Research Centre, PB 11008, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal nutrition
  2. Australasia
  3. Butterflies and moths
  4. Clovers
  5. Commonwealth of Nations
  6. Developed countries
  7. Feces
  8. Feed intake
  9. Flowers
  10. Grasses
  11. Grasslands and rangelands
  12. Grazing
  13. Infections
  14. Intake
  15. Invertebrates
  16. Mammals
  17. Meat animals
  18. mixtures
  19. nematodes
  20. New Zealand
  21. Oceania
  22. OECD countries
  23. ova
  24. Parasites
  25. pastures
  26. peer-reviewed
  27. Plants
  28. proteins
  29. Ruminants
  30. Sheep
  1. peer-reviewed