Some observations on the effect of grass-seed penetration on the growth and carcase quality of weaner lambs

Author: P. le Roux
Year: 1974
Issue: 1
Volume: 4
Page: 39 - 43

Approximately 50% of Rhodesia is covered by veld types of which Heteropogon contortus constitutes a significant proportion of the grazing. If’ sheep other than the smooth coated indigenous types are introduced in these areas, the seeds of H. contortus. through hygroscopic action, penetrate the skin and, if present in any numbers, may render the carcase unattractive and cause festering. The dressing-out percentage is also lowered, and a carcase with a great number of grass seeds may be downgraded if excessively trimmed. The value of the skin is also affected because of damage by grass seeds. Twenty-five grass seeds which have penetrated the skin are sufficient to reduce the daily gain of a lamb by 44 per cent from weaning in March to slaughter in June.

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