Sheep performance on perennial lupins over three years at Sawdon Station, Lake Tekapo


  • A.D. Black
  • G. Loxton
  • T.P. Ryan-Salter
  • D.J. Moot



A three-year trial compared the performance of Merino ewes grazing on a perennial lupin pasture with a control flock run predominantly on lucerne pastures at Sawdon Station, Lake Tekapo. At tailing in December, lambing averaged 111% and ewes averaged 58 kg for the lupin pasture, and 105% and 62 kg for the control flock, while lambs averaged 19 kg for both mobs. At weaning in February, ewes and lambs on the lupins averaged 58 kg and 28 kg compared with 63 kg and 31 kg for the control flock, and ewes gained 3.8 kg compared with 5.5 kg from March to mating in May. In September, wool averaged 4.62 kg/ewe for the lupin mob and 4.92 kg/ewe for the control flock, with a mean fibre diameter of 18.5 μm. The average herbage mass on the lupin pasture was 3.0 t dry matter (DM)/ha at the start of lambing in October, reached 7.8 t DM/ha in December and decreased to 3.5 t DM/ha in May. Results support the use of perennial lupins where lucerne fails to thrive on high country farms. Keywords: high country, liveweight gain, Lupinus polyphyllus, Merino







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