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Title: Sequential grazing of grass/white clover swards by cattle, sheep and goats
Author: Del Pozo Ramos, Manuel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Two experiments were conducted on sown grass/clover swards (Lolium perenne - Trifolium repens) to study the effect of domestic animal species (sheep, goats and cattle) on sward canopy structure and diet selection and animal performance of a subsequent grazing species. In Experiment 1, the effects of continuous grazing by sheep, goats or cattle at a sward surface height of 6 cm from mid-May to late July (Phase 1) were assessed. From late July until the end of August (Phase 2) swards were continuously grazed at 6 cm by sheep or goats. Sward composition and structure were measured by a stratified clipping technique taking account of short, medium and tall areas on the basis of their mean sward surface heights and separated into grass and clover morphological components. In Phase 2 the diet selected by oesophageally fistulated goats and sheep was measured. Swards previously grazed by cattle tended to have a higher percentage of clover than those previously grazed by sheep and by goats both in the whole sward and on the sward surface at the end of Phase 1 (sward: 11.8% versus 9.5% and 8.8% respectively; sward surface: 18.2% versus 11.1% and 7.60% respectively). This was particularly related to higher amounts of clover in short and tall areas. During Phase 2 sheep ingested a significantly higher percentage clover from cattle-grazed swards (cattle: 29.7%, sheep: 13.3% and goats: 12.6%; p<0.001) whereas the diet of the goats contained 17.3%, 14.0% and 18.9% from cattle, sheep and goats-grazed swards respectively. Furthermore, during Phase 2, there was a greater overall increase in the clover percentage on swards grazed by goats than in those grazed by sheep. Both sheep and goats ingested more clover from tall areas of the sward with 32.2% and 20.1% of the variation in the percentage of clover in their diets respectively attributed to the percentage of clover present in these areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available