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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


BARONI, C.E.S. et al. Levels of supplement for Nellore steers finished at pasture in dry season: intake and apparent digestibility. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.61, n.233, pp.31-41. ISSN 1885-4494.

The supplementation allows the supply of limiting nutrients and increase in efficiency of pasture utilization. The intake of supplement can be controlled by use of urea and mineral salt, avoiding dominancy of some animals over the others. The objective of this study was to evaluate the intake and apparent digestibility of nutrients in finishing phase Nellore steers fed different levels of supplements based on corn meal, during the dry season. The experiment was implanted on pasture of Panicum maximum 'Tanzânia', in four paddocks of 1.0 hectare. Four 30 months old and initial weight of 440 kg Nellore steers were used. The animals were distributed in 4x4 Latin square (four levels of supplementation and four periods). Levels of supplements use were: 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kg/ animal/day, in addition to a control group receiving mineral mixture. The supplements, except the control, presented decreasing levels of crude protein (52.0 to 42.6% of dry matter) and proportions of mineral mixture:urea:corn meal of 10:10:80, 5:5:90 and 2.5:2.5:95, respectively. Urea was used as supplement intake controller. The experimental periods lasted 16 days each one, in a total of 64 days. The intake and the digestibility were measured with the use of the external indicator chromium oxide and internal indicator iADF. There was increasing linear effect for dry matter intake in kg/animal/day and percentage of BW, and intakes of crude protein, ethereal extract, neutral detergent fiber, non fibrous carbohydrates and total digestible nutrients, and there was no effect on the forage intake. There was increasing linear effect for the digestibility coefficient of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber. There was no effect for the digestibility coefficient of crude protein, ethereal extract and non fibrous carbohydrates.

Keywords : Bovines; Digestibility; Feed evaluation; Low quality forage; Panicum maximum.

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