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Cull Onion Disposal with Sheep. Thomas M. McBride County Extension Director. Current Project with Colorado Onion Association. The objectives are to determine if supple-menting cull onions to breeding ewes will:

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Cull Onion Disposal with Sheep

Thomas M. McBride

County Extension Director


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Current Project with Colorado Onion Association

The objectives are to determine if supple-menting cull onions to breeding ewes will:

  • Alter hormonal profiles to increase ovulation or increase embryonic survival of lambs.

  • Affect blood mineral parameters and ultimately the immune system of the breeding ewes.

  • Simulate a flushing response.

  • Affect semen quality in breeding rams.


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Experimental Design

A. 180 Rambouillet Ewes are randomly assigned to one of nine treatment groups.

1. Negative Control, ewes are not flushed - fed hay only for the duration of the trial.

2. Onions are used to flush ewes and then onions removed from diet and feed hay only for the duration of the trial.





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Nine Treatment Groups

3. Onions are used to flush ewes and full- fed onions only till a week prior to lambing.

4. Corn used to flush ewes and then fed hay only for the duration of the trial.

5. Corn used to flush ewes and then hay/corn fed till a week prior to lambing.





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Nine Treatment Groups

6. Corn used to flush ewes and then full- fed onions till a week prior to lambing.

7. Onions are used to flush ewes and then hay/corn fed till a week prior to lambing.

8. Ewes not flushed and full-fed onions till a week prior to lambing.

9. Ewes not flushed and hay/corn are fed till a week prior to lambing.




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Experimental Design

B. Nine Rambouillet rams, three animals per gestation diet (hay versus hay/corn versus hay/onions), will be fed corresponding diets and semen quality measured.


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Experimental Design

C. Base blood levels will be determined for packed cell volume (anemia), mineral profiles, LH and FSH levels prior to ovulation and progesterone during pregnancy. After the ewes are lambed, numbers of lambs born live and survivability will be measured. Fleece weight will also be weighed and recorded.


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Disease Pass Through

  • Sheep were fed white mold sclerotia for four days.

  • Fecal samples were collected from the treated ewe and a control ewe for four days.


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Disease Pass Through

  • Samples were dried and analyzed for sclerotia.


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Results

One sclerotium was recovered on day four and passed through with no physical damage.


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Conclusion

The thinner and more delicate Botrytis sclerotia from onions would probably not survive the feeding and chewing actions of sheep.


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Onion Analysis

  • Moisture 90%

  • Crude Protein 7.4 - 12.9

  • TDN % 83 - 90

  • Calcium .31 - .54 (.35)

  • Phosphorus .34 - .52 (.40)


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Previous Ewe Projects

A. Drylot-

100% onions consumed

45 lb./day


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Ewe Study

  • Group 1 - Onions After October 1

  • Group 2 - Onions Beginning September 10

  • Group 3 - Control - 4 lbs. Hay + 1 lb. Grain and Pasture

    FLEECE WEIGHT

    Group Fleece Weight

    1 9.82

    2 9.46

    3 9.42


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Ewe Study

  • Group 1 - Onions After October 1

  • Group 2 - Onions Beginning September 10

  • Group 3 - Control - 4 lbs. Hay + 1 lb. Grain and Pasture

    LAMBING PERCENTAGE

    Group Lambs Per Ewe

    1 1.654

    2 1.80

    3 1.65


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Ewe Study

  • Group 1 - Onions After October 1

  • Group 2 - Onions Beginning September 10

  • Group 3 - Control - 4 lbs. Hay + 1 lb. Grain and Pasture

    BODY CONDITION SCORE

    Group Initial Body Final Body

    Condition Score Condition Score

    1 2.765 3.573a

    2 2.825 3.57a

    3 2.82 3.12b


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Ewe Study - Preliminary Results

  • Onions Fed Ewes Developed Severe

    Anemia by Week Two

  • Normal Packed Cell Volume (PCV) of Red

    Blood Cells is 35-40%

  • By Week Two Onion Fed Ewes 25-30%

  • By One Month Onion Fed Ewes Lows

    20’s %

  • By Six Weeks Anemia Had Reached a

    Plateau and Did Not Get Worse


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Previous Market Lamb Projects

Thomas M. McBride

County Extension Director







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Feeding Cull Onion Rates

Feeding Cull Onion Rates from 0 - 100% of the Diet for the Last 75 Days of the Diet.

ADG IN POUNDS.

Control 25% 50% 75% 100%

.461 .266 .188 .049 (.0857)

-NO CHANGE IN FLAVOR-


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After Three Week Adjustment Period

Control 25% 50% 75% 100%

.461 .446 .367 .30 .15



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