Meat sheep production on four different production systems

The potential performance of lambs and ewes from the Suffolk breed in pasture of Tifton grass 85 (Cynodon spp.) and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) was evaluated in different production systems: lambs weaned with 60 days and kept in pasture; lambs with ewes and kept in pasture; lambs with ewes and kept in pasture with creep feeding; feedlot confined lambs with alfalfa hay + balanced ration. The treatments were applied when the lambs reached 60 days of age until slaughter time, at 32 kg, and were allocated in a completely randomized experimental design, with three replications. A continuous grazing system, with variable stocking rate, was used in pasture treatments. Important effect of the treatments on performance of the lambs was observed. Feedlot confined lambs showed higher daily weight and at lower age at slaughter time. Creep feeding supplementation at 1% LW, did not have effect in lambs with more than 60 days of age kept with the ewes in Tifton 85 grass pasture. The presence of the ewe in the pasture showed important and positive effect in the individual performance of lambs as compared to lambs weaned at 60 days of age.

creep feeding; ewe; feedlot; lamb; Tifton 85; weaning

Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia Universidade Federal de Viçosa / Departamento de Zootecnia, 36570-900 Viçosa MG Brazil, Tel.: +55 31 3612-4602, +55 31 3612-4612 - Viçosa - MG - Brazil