Effects of neutral detergent fiber concentration of sugarcane-based diets on the performance of Holstein heifers

Paulo Celso da Silva Gallo, Marcos Neves Pereira, Giuliano Pavani de Campos, Sarita Bonagurio Gallo


This study aimed to evaluate the effects of increasing the neutral detergent fibers (NDF) concentration of sugarcane-based diets on the growth and development of Holstein heifers. Twenty-seven Holstein heifers with a mean body weight of 265.5 ± 36.4 kg were housed in a sand bedded tie stall and fed individually. The experimental diet consisted of fresh sugarcane and concentrate. Three concentrations of sugarcane NDF were compared: 33% (SC33), 38% (SC38), and 42% (SC42). Crude protein content of experimental diets was 16%. The following parameters were evaluated: dry matter intake, weight gain and morphometric measures, digestibility, feeding behavior, and ruminal pH. The experimental design was a randomized block and all analyses were performed using the MIXED procedure in SAS. Intake of DM decreased as NDF concentration increased (p=0.07), but weight gain and growth were not significantly affected (p=0.74). As dietary NDF increased, chewing activity per unit DM intake increased (p=0.001), but rumen pH was not significantly affected (p=0.91). Diets formulated with 330?420 g of sugarcane NDF/kg of dry matter were sufficient to support the growth of Holstein heifers.


Behavior; Growth; Digestibility; Nutrition.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n2p947

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
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