GROWTH AND LAMBING PERFORMANCE OF HAIR SHEEP GRAZING NATIVE PASTURES DURING THE DRY SEASON ON ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLANDS

The production potential of native pastures, grazed by V.I. White hair sheep, was examined during the dry season (Jan. to Aug. 1987; avg. monthly rainfall: 94mm). Animals were put on a rotational grazing system at a stocking rate of 5 ewes with lambs/ha, on pastures containing predominantly Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and Leucaena leucocephala, as well as native legumes. Pastures were fertilized (21-0-0; 336kg/ha)in Dec. 1986. Crude protein was 8.1+1.5, 28.3+1.0, and 16.7+1.4%, and in vitro digestibility 53.2+3.0, 59.1±1.7 and 51.4+2.8% in P. maximum, L. leucocephala and the native legumes, respectively. Mature, pregnant ewes (n=40) increased in body weight from 35.6 + 0.9k.g at conception to 47.2±0.8k.g at parturition, producing 5.1+0.3kg of lamb, at a lambing rate of 1.60 lambs/ewe lambing. These ewes weaned 16.6+0.9kg of lamb at 9 weeks post partum, at a weaning rate of 1.43 lambs/ewe lambing. The data suggest that fertilized, native pastures, under a rotational grazing system with moderate stocking rates, are able to support high reproductive rates under dry season conditions.


Issue Date:
Aug 15 1988
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Language:
English
Total Pages:
6




 Record created 2017-07-20, last modified 2017-08-29

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