We report results from trials on chicory growth (experiment 1) and lamb growth on chicory (experiment 2). In experiment 1, we assessed yield and chemical composition on swards established under organic conditions as perennial ryegrass/red clover, perennial ryegrass/chicory, chicory/red clover (CHRC), pure perennial ryegrass (RG-alone) and pure chicory (CH-alone) over two years.
Chicory/red clover and CH-alone showed improved crude protein, Ca, Mg, P, Cu and net energy contents compared to other mixtures. However, dry matter yield was the lowest for CHRC and CH-alone compared to others. In experiment 2, 48 weaned lambs grazed swards sown as chicory alone (CHA), chicory–grass–clover mix (CGC) or grass–clover mix (GCM) for 45 days. Lamb body weight (BW) gain and final BW were higher on CHA and CGC than on GCM.
The results suggest that chicory can complement conventional grass/clover swards especially in macro- and micro-nutrients for improved lamb growth with a proper grazing management in place.