Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 509–515 | Cite as

Sheep performance under intensive continuous grazing of native grasslands of Paspalum notatum and Axonopus compressus in the subtropical region of the Highlands of Central Mexico

  • F. Avilés-Nova
  • A. Espinoza-Ortega
  • O. A. Castelán-Ortega
  • C. M. Arriaga-JordánEmail author
Original Paper


Liveweight gain was evaluated in tropical Dorper X Pelibuey lambs under intensive continuous grazing of native grasslands dominated by Paspalum notatum (PN) or Axonopus compressus (AC) in the subtropics of Central Mexico. Two trials were undertaken. Trial 1 lasted 12 weeks with 10 lambs (initial weight 18 ± 2.57 kg, 3 months old) per treatment in 2002, and Trial 2 for 13 weeks with 8 lambs (initial weight 24.0 ± 2.0 kg, 4 months old) per treatment. Lambs were weighed once per week, and liveweight change was estimated by linear regression over day of the experiment, using individual regression coefficients as unbiased estimates of daily liveweight change; analysed in a random block design. Lambs on Trial 1 gained 0.061 kg/lamb/day on PN and 0.047 kg/lamb/day on AC (P > 0.05) at an overall mean stocking rate of 25 lambs/ha. In Trial 2, liveweight gain was significantly larger in PN (0.060 kg/lamb/day) than on AC (0.043 kg/lamb/day) (P < 0.05), at a mean stocking rate of 21.5 lambs/ha. It is concluded that intensive continuous grazing of native grasslands in the subtropics of the highlands of Central Mexico enables moderate liveweight gains for weaned lambs during the rainy season; with better results in grasslands dominated by Paspalum notatum.


Axonopus compressus Continuous grazing Tropical hair sheep Subtropical native grasslands Paspalum notatum Mexico 



Acid Detergent Fibre


Dry Matter


National Institute for Statistics, Geography and Informatics of Mexico


metres above sea level


Metabolisable Energy


Neutral Detergent Fiber


Net Herbage Accumulation


Organic Matter


Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food from the Mexican government


Standard Error of the Mean



Authors are grateful to the Centro Universitario UAEM Temascaltepec of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM), in particular to Ing. Luis M. Ríos Garcìa, manager, and all the staff of the University Farm for their help and support for this work.

The experimental work was achieved thanks to the financial support of Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México through grant UAEM 1640/2003. Our gratitude also to the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología - CONACYT) for the grant received by Francisca Avilés-Nova which allowed her to undertake her doctoral studies within which this work was developed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Avilés-Nova
    • 1
  • A. Espinoza-Ortega
    • 2
  • O. A. Castelán-Ortega
    • 2
  • C. M. Arriaga-Jordán
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro Universitario UAEM TemascaltepecUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMéxico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Agropecuarias (CICA)Universidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMéxico
  3. 3.Secretaría de Investigación y Estudios AvanzadosUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMéxico

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