Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Dipti Pitta

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Effects of willow (Salix spp.) browse upon ewe reproduction and rumen microbiology under drought feeding conditions

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Pitta examined the utilisation of willow browse to improve the productive and reproductive performance of ewes under drought conditions. Summer/autumn droughts are a regular feature of the East Coast regions of New Zealand, with predicted severity in the future. Ewes mated on willow fodder blocks and ewes grazing low quality drought pasture during mating were compared on reproductive rate from lambing through to weaning. Ewes grazing willow fodder blocks had a consistent increase in reproductive rate by 20 % and better maintained live weight compared to control ewes grazing low quality pastures. Further work on rumen microbes using cultivation and molecular techniques indicated that rumen bacteria take approximately 10 weeks to adapt to dietary willow supplementation. Novel rumen bacterial species associated with willow

Mr Thomas Barry
Dr Graeme Attwood
Professor Peter Kemp
Professor Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos