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Lemma et al., 2006. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 18 (11): 161

Document reference 
Lemma, T. ; Geleti, D., 2006. Effect of stocking rate on growth of lambs grazed on dry season tropical mixed pasture in Ethiopia. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 18 (11): 161

The study was conducted to assess effects of stocking rate (SR) [20 animals/0.66 ha (HSR), 20 animals/0.97 ha (MSR) and 20 animals/1.98 ha (LSR)] on growth of lambs grazed on dry season rhodes grass (Chloris gayana)-siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) pasture in 2 successive years. A total of 60 Horro lambs were observed for 3 months in each of the years.

Total DM yield of pasture was significantly (P<0.01) higher for Year 1 (3.95 vs 3.34 t/ha). The pastures were heavily grass-dominant with the legume representing less than 10% of available dry matter overall. In both years, legume percentage in the pasture declined with time. Available dry matter yields declined during the study in both years but increased at the final sampling, following significant falls of rain. Weight gains of lambs were small (overall mean of 1.15kg/head) and tended to be indirectly related to stocking rate but differences were not significant (P>0.05). Year of stocking rate significantly (P<0.05) affected growth of the lambs.

In the years experienced, there was no benefit in lamb performance in reducing the stocking rate and strategic supplementation with concentrate would be required to obtain satisfactory growth rates of lambs.

Citation key 
Lemma et al., 2006