Multispecies grazing study

A multispecies grazing study was sown at UCD Lyons Research Farm in August 2014. The objectives of this trial are to investigate animal performance from mixtures compared to perennial ryegrass only swards and to examine the effect of multispecies mixtures on the faecal egg counts of grazing lambs.

Four treatments will be examined for their production and effect on animal performance. The 4 treatments are:

1. Perennial ryegrass only

2. Perennial ryegrass and white clover

3. Simple mix with 6 species, (perennial ryegrass, timothy, white clover, red clover, plantain, chicory)

4. Complex mix with 9 species (perennial ryegrass, timothy, cocksfoot,  white clover, red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, plantain, chicory and yarrow)

The plots will be grazed by ewes and lambs for 2015 and 2016 at a stocking rate of 12.5 ewes/ha. 30 ewes and their twin lambs will rotationally graze the treatment plots until lambs are drafted for slaughter and the performance of ewes and lambs will be monitored.