HC Deb 20 May 1952 vol 501 cc44-5W
Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will give an estimate of the average weight of edible food produced and length of time it takes to reach maturity for cattle, sheep and pigs, respectively; what amount of food is consumed in each case, in weight and calorific value per annum; and, of this, how much has to be imported.

Sir T. Dugdale

The estimated average weight of meat obtained is 40 lb. from fat lambs, 60 lb. from fat sheep, 165 lb. from pigs and 580 lb. from beef cattle. Fat lambs are slaughtered at from 3–12 months, and sheep at any age after 18 months. Fat pigs are ready for slaughter at about 7–8 months, and beef cattle at 2½–3 years.

For pigs, about 5–6 lb. of meal, equivalent to 10,000–12,000 calories, are required to produce 1 lb. of meat. Owing to wide differences in methods of management and the high proportion of grazing in the diet of sheep and cattle. it is not possible to give a similar estimate for them.

Taking account of the feeding value of grass and hay, the proportion of all animal feed which is imported or derived from imported materials is estimated at 11½ per cent. For pigs taken by themselves this percentage is no doubt appreciably greater; for sheep and beef cattle it is negligible.