Intake of grass-clover when sows are kept on pasture
Roughage like ensiled or fresh grass-clover is offered to gestating sows to improve their health and offer employment. We document the amounts of fresh grass-clover that sows consume on pasture to enable an inclusion of energy from grass-clover in diet formulation.
Offering roughage to gestating sows improves their health, but can also be interesting from an economic point of view. When sows are kept on pasture, they consume fresh grass-clover as roughage without the need for harvest, storage and feeding. A part of the nutrient demand of the sows can therefore be supplied by fresh grass-clover.
Knowledge about the actual amounts of grass-clover that are consumed by the sows is necessary to adapt the amount and nutrient concentration of the concentrate feed that is offered to the sows. Therefore we document the grass-clover consumption of sows on pasture.
The experiment is repeated over several years, and each year the experimental period is 6 weeks within the grazing period of the gestating sows.
Once a week, fresh matter and dry matter of the grass-clover is determined by taking samples for randomly selected spots of 1 m² each on the pasture.
Nutrient concentration of grass-clover is analysed according to Weende.
Body weight of the sows is documented once a week.
The composition of the grass-clover ley and its growth rate is determined.
7.2018 - 12.2020
Project status: ongoing