Supplementation during winter of two types of merino sheep on Cymbopogon-Themeda veld. ii. Influence on body weight and carcass qualities
The influence of supplementary feeding on body weight and carcass qualities of Merino wethers, of differing wool production potentials, kept on Cymbopogon-Themeda veld was investigated. The following treatments were applied. I Sheep kept in pens and fed individually with the supplement without receiving any veld grazing. II Supplementation with veld grazing after the first loss in body weight. III and IV Supplementation in addition to veld grazing but only after a loss of 5 and 10 per cent in weight, respectively. V Veld grazing only. The annual increase in body weight of the sheep in Treatment I was greater than that of the other treatments (P<0,01). The weight increase in Treatments II and III was greater than that of Treatments IV and V (P<0,05). The interaction between types and treatments was also significant (P<0,01). Total weight increases, as well as increases during the summer months, were highest in the case of sheep with a low wool production potential. The weight loss during winter periods by the sheep in Treatment V was, in most cases, higher than that in Treatments II and III, while there was no significant difference between the types of sheep. The carcass weights of the sheep in Treatment I were higher than those in Treatments II, III and V (P<0,01). Those in Treatment II were higher than those in Treatment V (P<0,05). The carcasses in Treatment I showed excessive fat deposits while those in Treatment V were wanting in fat.