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Published byEric Cobb
Modified over 4 years ago
TO GRAIN OR NOT TO GRAIN
SHELBURNE FARMS LAMB FEEDING TRIAL Phoebe Garfinkel Sam (Shepherd) Smith Chet Parsons Ed Jackson Rachel Gilker Elaine Burnor
Research made possible by: Shelburne Farms and Conservation Fund
Lambs have been traditionally finished in confinement on grain
Shelburne Farms has an ample supply of grass Shelburne Farms cheese is made from milk from their dairy herd of Brown Swiss dairy cows
Results of forage test on the dairy cow pasture from 2005 Sid Bosworth, UVM and Nat Bacon, Shelburne Farms
Why not feed some of this grass to lambs?
Divided the lambs into three equal groups
Groups were randomly selected Raised by ewe Raised with a bottle
One group was put in confinement and fed grain.
The other two groups were put on pasture
Both groups on pasture were provided with water, minerals and shade; and one group was provided with whole shell corn.
The lambs were weighed every two weeks
Total mean weight gain per sheep in pounds. Grain Fed39.8A Pasture Only31.6B Pasture Plus Corn29.0B
ConcentratePasture Plus CornPasture Only Feed costs429.3187.410 Yardage/land use fees22.8050.00 Labor157.50168.75 Cost per lb.of gain1.440.780.55 Costs
Pasture Walk Explained MIG Fencing
Live Lamb Grading Workshop Compare degree of finish on lambs
Some considered taste. Others just ate.
Taste Testing No significant difference between groups; it was all good.
What did we learn? Lambs need to be taught to graze? Corn –Period to get acclimated to it –Limit the amount they receive?? Parasites on pasture
What did we learn? Grain –More expensive but quicker –Excessive fat if taken to a heaver weight?
What did we learn? Grass fed lamb appeared to be comparable to grain fed in taste test –Keep in mind it was excellent grass
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