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Data from commercial sheep producers shows that lambing ewes in larger mobs and at higher stocking rates reduces the survival of their lambs

Lockwood, A.L., Hancock, S.N., Trompf, J.P., Kubeil, L.J., Ferguson, M.B., Kearney, G.A. and Thompson, A.N. (2019) Data from commercial sheep producers shows that lambing ewes in larger mobs and at higher stocking rates reduces the survival of their lambs. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, In Press .

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00288233.2019.1570945
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Abstract

Higher stocking rates of lambing ewes have been associated with poorer ewe-lamb behaviour and lamb survival. This study tested the hypothesis that increasing the mob size and stocking rate of lambing ewes on commercial farms will reduce the survival of their lambs. Data were collected from 66 producers in Australia for Experiment one and 22 producers in New Zealand for Experiment two. Survival of single- and twin-born lambs decreased by 1.4% and 3.5% per extra 100 ewes in the mob, regardless of breed, in Experiment one. The survival of Merino lambs in Experiment two decreased by 0.9% per extra 100 ewes in the mob, regardless of birth type. Increasing stocking rate by 1 ewe/ha also decreased lamb survival by 0.7% in Experiment one. However, this was not evident in Experiment two. These findings highlight the scope to optimise ewe mob size and stocking rate at lambing to improve lamb survival.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
Copyright: © 2019 The Royal Society of New Zealand
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/44938
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