The study produced many outcomes.
Restricting milk can lead to early weaning
Restricting milk intake to increase solid feed intake in the first four weeks of life can lead to early weaning at six weeks of age without compromising the long-term productivity of male lambs.
Ad libitum milk feeding promotes early growth
High hard feed intakes before weaning require careful management to transition lambs to pasture. Pasture can be used as a supplement to milk if the rearing system allows, to minimise potential problems at weaning.
Robust immune system
Rumen digestion processes and the development of the young lambs’ immune system are quite robust across a range of rearing systems.
Once-a-day milking successful
Once-a-day milking while still rearing the lamb with its mother can be used to successfully achieve both high milk harvest and low-cost rearing.
Lamb rearing management practices to achieve good outcomes are documented in an interactive manual.
Growth pathways during puberty influence hogget mating success and may influence later milk production through udder development.
Feeding systems influence production and flavour
Feeding systems can influence the production and flavour of sheep milk. Ewes fed a total mixed ration (TMR) indoors produced milk with higher concentrations of the compounds associated with strong flavor (vBCFAs) than ewes grazing on pasture. The milk from ewes fed the TMR also had a higher flavour value than milk from pasture-grazed ewes which would likely cause a more 'sheepy' flavour of products such as cheese, yoghurt and powder.