Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia]]> vol. 44 num. 9 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Production technology and quality of corn silage for feeding dairy cattle in Southern Brazil]]> ABSTRACTThe objective of this study was to evaluate the production practices and use of corn silage in dairy farms in Southern Brazil, and to evaluate their impact on the nutritional quality and occurrence of mycotoxins. The data were collected by application of questionnaires among the producers, and by analysis of silage samples. The variables were subjected to factorial analysis of data reduction through the principal components method, thus obtaining 84.12% of the variance associated with the location, corn hybrid, crop production management, and inoculant used, characterizing the farms into four distinct groups. In farms from Paraná, the silage production technologies were more associated with implantation and crop management processes, and investment in equipment related to ensilage/silo feed-out was less frequent. Farms of Rio Grande do Sul showed high adoption of outsourced services, self-propelled machines, bunker silos, double-sided plastic film, and inoculant to control aerobic deterioration, and the silages showed higher levels of propionic acid (7.95 g/kg DM), and lower concentrations of aflatoxins (7.7 ppb) and total mycotoxins (26.58 ppb). The farms evaluated in Southern Brazil have good production efficiency and corn silages with excellent quality, regardless of their production characteristics. <![CDATA[Performance and digestibility of steers fed by-product of fresh passion fruit or sorghum silage, with and without concentrate supplementation]]> ABSTRACTThe objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritive value of passion fruit by-product for cattle, contrasting the results with those found with sorghum silage. Four treatments were then constituted, comprising the combinations of the two roughages and the two levels of supplementation (with or without), in a completely randomized design with four animals per treatment. The considered variables included: feed intake, digestibility coefficients of the diets, and live weight gain of the animals. The experimental period lasted 70 days, preceded by a standardization period of 30 days. Chromium oxide was utilized to estimate the fecal output, in the digestibility trial. Treatments were compared by means of three orthogonal contrasts: between the two roughages and between the two concentrate levels within each roughage. Animals fed passion fruit by-product showed higher feed intake (total, per 100 kg of live weight (TLW), and per unit metabolic size) and had higher TLW gain than those fed sorghum silage (1.304 kg vs. 0.134 kg). The coefficients of apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and crude protein (CP) and the digestibility coefficient of neutral detergent fiber from passion fruit by-product were high, and much higher than those from sorghum silage. The concentrate supplement did not improve the TLW gain of animals fed passion fruit by-product and had a limiting effect on the digestibility coefficients of the diet. The concentrate supplement had a positive associative effect on intake and digestibility coefficients of DM, OM, and CP from sorghum silage. The by-product of fresh passion fruit is an excellent food for growing cattle as it provides high intake levels and weight gains, even when supplied as the only feed. <![CDATA[Growth curve of buffalo grazing on a grass pasture]]> ABSTRACTThe objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of 17 buffaloes (Mediterranean), from birth to slaughter age (720 days) with monthly measures of weight, thoracic perimeter, body length, and height at withers. At the end of experimental period, the animals were separated into two different groups for statistical analysis according to slaughter weight: light body weight (LBW, mean 517 kg) and heavy body weight (HBW, mean 568 kg). Buffalo growth occurs in the same way up to weaning age, and after that, two distinct groups grow in different forms in the same conditions of management and feeding. Body weight can be estimated according to age, thoracic perimeter, height, and length, showing high correlations. Buffaloes show growth in a sigmoid-curve model. <![CDATA[Effects of polymer-coated slow-release urea on performance, ruminal fermentation, and blood metabolites in dairy cows]]> ABSTRACTThe objective of this experiment was to quantify the effects of feeding polymer-coated slow-release urea on nutrient intake and total tract digestion, milk yield and composition, nutrient balances, ruminal fermentation, microbial protein synthesis, and blood parameters in dairy cows. Sixteen Holstein cows (580±20 kg of live weight (mean ± standard deviation); 90 to 180 days in milk (DIM); and 28 kg/d of average milk yield) were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square experimental design. The animals were assigned to each square according to milk yield and DIM. The animals were randomly allocated to receive one of the following experimental diets: 1) control (without urea addition); urea (addition of 1% on the diet DM basis); polymer-coated slow release urea 1 (addition of 1% on the diet DM basis); and polymer-coated slow release urea 2 (addition of 1% on the diet DM basis). All diets contained corn silage as forage source and a 50:50 forage:concentrate ratio. Milk and protein yield, production of volatile fatty acids, and propionate decreased when cows were fed diets containing urea. Addition of urea decreased nitrogen efficiency and nitrogen excreted in the feces. However, the diets did not change the cows' microbial protein synthesis, ruminal pH, or ammonia concentration. The inclusion of urea in cow diets decreases milk and protein yield due to lower production of volatile fatty acids. No advantages are observed with supplementation of polymer-coated slow-release urea when compared with feed-grade urea. <![CDATA[Flemingia macrophylla in goat feeding]]> ABSTRACTThe objective of this work was to evaluate the inclusion of Fabaceae Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze ex Merr. in the diet of lactating dairy goats arranged in a 5 × 5 Latin square. The diets were composed of 40% of concentrate and 60% of roughage, and the dietary treatments were defined by the level of Flemingia hay inclusion (0%, 8%, 16%, 24%, and 32% in the diet dry matter) replacing Cynodon dactyloncv. Tifton 85 hay. The diets were isonitrogenous, with 14% crude protein. Feed intake, nutrient digestibility, feeding behavior, and ruminal pH and ammonia nitrogen were evaluated. There was no difference in dry matter intake with the inclusion of Flemingia hay in the diet. The digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, and total carbohydrates decreased with the inclusion of Flemingia in the diet. The diet did not change rumen ammonia nitrogen concentration or ruminal pH. There were no differences in the feeding behavior or feed and rumination efficiencies. Flemingia macrophylla can be used up to the level of 32% in the dry matter in diets for lactating goats.