Effects of supplementation plan on intake, digestibility, eating behavior, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of grazing beef cattle

Nelcino Francisco De Paula, Mário Fonseca Paulino, Victor Rezende Moreira Couto, Edenio Detmann, Ivan França Smith Maciel, Lívia Vieira Barros, Sidnei Antônio Lopes, Ériton Egídio Lisboa Valente, Joanis Tilemahos Zervoudakis, Leandro Soares Martins

Abstract


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of different supplementation plans on the nutrient intake, apparent total-tract digestibility, grazing behavior, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of beef cattle under grazing conditions from ages 4 to 18 months old. The beef calves grazed Brachiaria decumbens in four seasons: rainy-dry transition, dry, dry-rainy transition, and rainy. Forty-four animals (11 per treatment) were randomly assigned to one of four nutritional plans of supplementation defined by the quantity of supplement offered: control, low, medium, and high supplementation. There was no difference (P > 0.10) in dry matter intake (DMI). However, animals receiving medium and high supplementation had decreased (P < 0.10) forage dry matter intake (FDMI) compared with those under non- and low supplementation. The DMI and FDMI were lower (P < 0.10) in the dry season. During the rainy season, the grazing time decreased (P < 0.10) for animals receiving supplementation compared with non-supplemented ones, but was similar between medium and high supplementation. The performance and carcass characteristics were greater (P < 0.10) for high and medium supplementation compared with low and control. In conclusion, increasing the supplementation plans for beef cattle in tropical pastures increases the nutrient intake but decreases FDMI. The performance also increases with the supplementation plan; however, the growth rate is affected by the grazing season.

Keywords


Beef calves; Nellore; Supplement; Tropical forage.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n6Supl2p3233

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