Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=1516-359820120003&lang=en vol. 41 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[<b>Utilization of frozen and salted Nile tilapia skin for batch-processed gelatin extraction </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Objetivou-se caracterizar peles de tilápia-do-nilo, conservadas por congelamento e salga a seco, visando à extração de gelatina em processo batelada. Após a filetagem, as peles foram descarnadas e distribuídas em dois lotes. Um dos lotes foi congelado a -18 ºC por sete dias e o outro foi salgado e mantido a 25 ºC por sete dias. As peles foram lavadas, pesadas e pré-tratadas em solução de H2SO4 a10N (pH 3,0), na proporção de 1:6 (pele:água) por uma hora a 24 ºC. Extraiu-se a gelatina em banho-maria a 50 ºC por uma hora e retirou-se uma amostra para análise do perfil molecular. O restante foi congelado a -18 ºC. Foram realizadas análises físico-químicas das peles e das gelatinas líquidas, do perfil molecular com as gelatinas e análises microbiológicas das peles. As peles congeladas e salgadas apresentaram, respectivamente, 78,13 e 76,46% de umidade; 18,16 e 19,59% de proteína bruta; 2,26 e 1,90% de extrato etéreo e 1,44 e 2,06% de cinzas. Nas gelatinas líquidas extraídas das peles congeladas e salgadas, a umidade foi de 97,68 e 96,08%, o conteúdo de proteína bruta de 3,18 e 4,12%, de extrato etéreo 0,29 e 0,18% e de cinzas de 2,31 e 3,03%, respectivamente. Os valores da força de gel e viscosidade foram maiores para a gelatina de peles salgadas (200 g e 19,02mPas) em comparação à gelatina de peles conservadas pelo congelamento (12,7 g e 9,16mPas). O perfil molecular foi menor na gelatina extraída a partir de peles congeladas, portanto houve perda de β e γ-componentes, que indica grande degradação do colágeno decorrente do método de conservação.<hr/>The objective was to characterize Nile tilapia skins, freeze- and dry salt dry-preserved to extract gelatins by batch processing. After filleting, the skins were separated from the meat and distributed into two lots: In one, skins were frozen for 7 days (-18 ºC); and in the other, skins were salted for seven days (25 ºC). The skins were rinsed, weighed and pretreated in H2SO4 a10N solution (pH 3.0), at a 1:6 (skin/water) ratio for 1 h at 24 ºC. Gelatin was extracted in water bath at 50 ºC for 1 h, and a sample was removed for molecular profiling; the rest was frozen at -18 ºC. Physical-chemical analyses were carried out on the skins and liquid gelatins, the molecular profile was obtained from the gelatins, and the skins underwent microbiological analyses. Frozen and salted skins showed, respectively: 78.13% and 76.46% moisture, 18.16% and 19.59% crude protein, 2.26% and 1.90% ether extract, and 1.44% and 2.06% ash, respectively. For the liquid gelatins extracted from frozen and salted skins, moisture was 97.68% and 96.08%, crude protein was 3.18% and 4.12%, ether extract was 0.29% and 0.18%, and ash was 2.31% and 3.03%, respectively. Gel strength and viscosity values were higher for salted skins gelatin (200 g and 19.02 mPas) compared with freeze-preserved skins gelatin (12.7 g and 9.16 mPas). The molecular profile was lower in gelatin extracted from frozen skins, which indicates loss of β and γ-components, which indicates considerable collagen decay from that preservation method. <![CDATA[<b>Agroindustrial byproducts in diets for Nile tilapia juveniles</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was conducted to evaluate performance and body composition of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fed diets containing byproducts aerial parts of cassava meal (Manihot esculenta), mesquite pod meal (Prosopis juliflora), cocoa meal (Theobroma cacao) and palm kernel cake (Elaeis guineensis) and to analyze the economic viability of the feed. A total of 1,350 juvenile males (100 g) were distributed in 15 cages (1 m³) in completely randomized design with five treatments (basal diet and four test diets) and three replicates. The following aspects were evaluated: final weight, total feed intake, total weight gain, feed conversion, specific growth rate, protein efficiency ratio and survival rate, dry matter, crude protein, fat and ash body, the average cost of feed per kilogram of weight gain and economic efficiency rate. No differences were observed for total consumption of food or survival rate. For other variables, the inclusion of cocoa and cassava meal impaired fish performance. No differences were observed for dry matter, crude protein and body ash. The lower body fat accumulation was recorded for the tilapia fed palm kernel cake. The best economic indicators were found to diets containing palm kernel cake. The byproducts evaluated can be used up to 150 g/kg in feed formulation, providing good performance and economic rate for Nile tilapia. <![CDATA[<b>Digestible lysine requirement of Nile tilapia fingerlings fed arginine-tolysine-balanced diets</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was conducted to determine the digestible lysine requirements of Nile tilapia fingerlings. Fish (n = 300; average initial weight = 1.44 g) were distributed 15 300-L aquariums, in a completely randomized design with five treatments and three replicates, and fed extruded diets containing 11.3, 13.7, 16.1, 18.4 or 20.8 g/kg of digestible lysine. The arginine:lysine ratio was maintained at 1.3:1. All fish were fed diets containing 281 g/kg of digestible protein and 3,372 kcal digestible energy/kg, hand-fed until apparent satiation. There was no effect of the dietary lysine levels on survival rate, or protein and ash body rates. With increasing levels of lysine in the diet, a quadratic effect on weight gain, feed conversion, protein efficiency ratio, protein deposition rate, deposition rate of fat, body moisture and body lipids was observed, where the best values of the variables were estimated at 15.96, 16.4, 14.35, 15.21, 15.87, 15.21 and 16.29 g/kg of lysine, respectively. The digestible lysine requirement of Nile tilapia fingerlings is 15.21 g/kg (5.41 g/100 g of digestible protein), in diets balanced for the arginine:lysine ratio. <![CDATA[<b>Nutritional evaluation, in Nile-tilapia, of bovine blood meals obtained by three processing methods </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Avaliaram-se farinhas de sangue obtidas pelos métodos de processamento em tambor, convencional e atomização. As farinhas foram submetidas ao processo de extração e fracionamento da proteína para determinação do perfil do tamanho molecular, que foi comparado ao do sangue bovino in natura. Nas amostras, submetidas ou não ao processo de desengorduramento, foram realizadas análises da digestibilidade in vitro da proteína. Para determinação dos coeficientes de digestibilidade dos nutrientes in vivo, foram confeccionadas quatros rações, sendo uma sem farinha de sangue, denominada ração-referência purificada. Para essa etapa, juvenis de tilápia-do-nilo com peso médio inicial de 100,0±5,0 g foram estocados em aquários de 250 L, em delineamento de blocos casualizados, com quatro repetições e dez peixes/unidade experimental. As rações-teste foram obtidas com a introdução de 30% das farinhas de sangue em estudo. O processamento afetou a estrutura proteica original do sangue in natura em condições de alta temperatura e tempo prolongado, efeito traduzido pela alta proporção de peptídeos de baixo peso molecular e aminoácidos livres, correspondendo a baixos valores de digestibilidade da proteína da farinha de sangue nos testes in vivo e in vitro. A farinha de sangue atomizada e a de tambor são eficientemente utilizadas por tilápias-do-nilo. Na farinha de sangue convencional, a proteína teve valor biológico inferior ao das outras duas farinhas. Na formulação de rações contendo farinha de sangue para tilápias-do-nilo, a isoleucina deve ser considerada o primeiro aminoácido limitante, seguida pela metionina+cistina, arginina e treonina, que foram encontradas em níveis críticos para essa espécie, principalmente na farinha de sangue convencional.<hr/>Three kinds of blood meal coming from different processing conditions (spray-dried, drum-dried and vat-dried blood meals) were evaluated. Protein extraction and fractionation were performed in each blood meal type to determine the molecular weight profile, which was compared with standard bovine blood in natura. In vitro digestibility analyses of the protein in the diets were carried out in samples, which underwent defattening process or not. The apparent digestibility coefficients of the blood meal in vivo nutrients was determined with the creation of four diets; one of them did not have blood meal, called purified reference diet. For this stage, Nile-tilapia juveniles, with 100.00±5.0 g/fish of average weight were stocked in tanks of 250 liters in a completely randomized blocks design with four replicates and 10 fish per experimental unit. The test diets were obtained with the introduction of 30% of the blood meals in the study. The protein structure of the blood in natura is affected by high temperature and length of time of processing, resulting in an increase in the amount of low molecular weight peptides, and free amino acids, corresponding to low values of blood meal protein digestibility, both in- vivo and in-vitro tests. Spray-dried blood meal and drum-dried blood meal are efficiently used by the Nile-tilapia. In the regular blood meal, protein has lower value than the two other blood meal types. At the development of diets containing blood meal for Nile-tilapia, isoleucine must be the first limiting amino acid, followed by methionine + cystine, arginine, and threonine, which were found in critical levels for this specie, mainly in the conventional blood meal. <![CDATA[<b>Dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition in mixed pastures of marandugrass, forage peanut and tropical kudzu</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was carried out to evaluate the dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition of a mixed pasture of marandugrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu), forage peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Mandobi) and tropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides), rotationally stocked at four daily forage allowance levels (6.6, 10.3, 14.3 and 17.9% of live weight). Sward condition was characterized in each stocking cycle by measuring pre- and post-grazing sward height, forage mass and percentage of bare ground. Botanical composition (grass, forage peanut, tropical kudzu and weeds) was evaluated before each stocking period. Swards under smaller forage allowances presented lower height, forage mass and ground cover. This condition favored the growth of forage peanut, which constituted 21.1, 15.2, 8.4 and 3.8% of forage mass in the last quarter of the experimental period, from the lowest to the highest forage allowance, respectively. Tropical kudzu was sensitive to all forage allowance levels and its percentage in the botanical composition was strongly reduced along the experimental period, especially during the dry season (July to September). Forage peanut cv. Mandobi and marandugrass form a more balanced mixture when pre-grazing sward height is maintained shorter than 45 cm. Tropical kudzu is intolerant to intensive grazing management systems when associated to marandugrass. <![CDATA[<b>Productivity, utilization efficiency and sward targets for mixed pastures of marandugrass, forage peanut and tropical kudzu</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was carried out to evaluate the productivity and utilization efficiency of a mixed marandugrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu), forage peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Mandobi) and tropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) pasture, rotationally stocked at four daily forage allowance levels (6.6, 10.3, 14.3 and 17.9% of live weight), in order to define sward management targets for these mixtures. In each stocking cycle, dry matter (DM) accumulation rates, defoliation intensity (%), grazing depth (%) and grazed horizon (cm) were evaluated. Sward targets were defined according to the sward condition that best conciliated the grass-legume balance and the equilibrium between forage production and utilization. Pastures submitted to higher forage allowance levels showed higher productivity, but were less efficiently utilized. It was not possible to establish sward management targets for marandugrass-tropical kudzu pastures. For marandugrass-forage peanut pastures the best sward state was set with forage allowance of 10.3% of live weight. Under rotational stocking, the following sward targets were suggested for these pastures in the Western Amazon: pre-grazing height of 30-35 cm (June to September) or 45-50 cm (October to May) and post-grazing sward height of 20-25 cm (June to September) or 25-30 cm (October to May). <![CDATA[<b>Bioprospection of plant growth promoter rhizobacteria in <i>Brachiaria brizantha </i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Objetivou-se selecionar e caracterizar bactérias do gênero Bacillus em rizosfera de Brachiaria brizantha como promotoras de crescimento de plantas e correlacionar os diferentes critérios de seleção das bactérias utilizados em laboratório e casa-de-vegetação. Após coleta de amostras de plantas em três municípios da região oeste de São Paulo, foram realizados o isolamento de bactérias da rizosfera e posterior caracterização fenotípica quanto ao potencial de colonização de raízes de braquiária, antagonismo a fungos fitopatogênicos, produção de auxinas, fosfatases e proteases, além da caracterização genotípica utilizando a técnica de PCR-RAPD. Como avaliação final dos isolados bacterianos foi realizado experimento em casa-de-vegetação com inoculação de sementes e cultivo de Braquiaria brizantha com efetivação de três cortes, durante 180 dias. O experimento foi distribuído em delineamento inteiramente casualizado com quatro repetições. Dos 45 isolados de Bacillus sp. avaliados, sete foram competentes para colonização radicular e três (1A, 2B e 6A) foram capazes de promover o crescimento de Brachiaria brizantha, na média de três cortes efetuados na cultura. A avaliação da produção de auxinas e fosfatases foi relevante no protocolo de seleção dos isolados de Bacillus sp. como promotores de crescimento de plantas. A produção de proteases foi detectada em todos os isolados avaliados, mas não houve correlação desta característica com o crescimento das plantas.<hr/>This study proposed to select and characterize bacteria of the genus Bacillus on rhizosphere of Brachiaria brizantha as plant growth promoters and to correlate the different selection criteria of the bacteria utilized in laboratories and greenhouse. After collecting samples of plants in three municipalities of Sao Paulo, bacteria were isolated from the rhizosphere and subsequent phenotypic characterization was carried out, regarding the potential for colonization of the roots of pasture, antagonism to pathogenic fungi, production of auxins, phosphatases and proteases in addition to the genotypic characterization using PCR-RAPD. As final evaluation of Bacillus sp. isolates, a greenhouse experiment was performed with seed inoculation and cultivation of Brachiaria brizantha with three harvests, during 180 days. The experiment was distributed in completely randomized design with four replications. Of the 45 isolates of Bacillus sp. evaluated, seven were able to root colonization and three (1A, 2B and 6A) were able to promote the growth of Brachiaria brizantha, on the average of three harvests. The evaluation of auxin and phosphatase production was important in the selection protocol of Bacillus sp. to promote plant growth. Protease production was detected in all isolates, but there was no correlation of this characteristic with plant growth. <![CDATA[<b>Impact of nitrogen fertilization on the forage characteristics and beef calf performance on native pasture overseeded with ryegrass </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The overseeding of ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam) on sub-tropical native pastures increases the availability and quality of forage in the cold season. However, soil chemical amendment and nitrogen use can affect the floristic composition, with consequences to the primary and secondary production. In a randomized complete block design with three replications, the effect of nitrogen fertilization (40, 90 and 140 kg/ha of nitrogen) on native pasture overseeded with ryegrass in two consecutive years was assessed regarding production and composition of pasture and performance of beef calves. In both years, the forage accumulation rate and forage production responded linearly to the increase in nitrogen rates as a result of increased participation of ryegrass. The lower efficiency of responses in 2008 was due to the increased participation of dead material and the reduction of ryegrass in the forage sward. In 2007 there was an increasing substitution of the participation of native grasses by ryegrass with increasing nitrogen rates. Native legumes and other species were almost not affected by nitrogen fertilization. The average daily weight gain of the animals responded linearly to nitrogen rates in 2007, and quadratically in 2008. The stocking rate and gain per hectare increased linearly in both years, with greater responses in 2007. The production and composition of forage and livestock production are improved by the use of nitrogen, but the efficiency of responses can be affected by sowing date and nitrogen fertilization. <![CDATA[<b>Dry matter production and nitrogen use efficiency of giant missionary grass in response to pig slurry application</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study assessed the effect of successive applications of pig slurry on the dry matter (DM) production and the nitrogen use efficiency of giant missionary grass along two years. A total of 55, 110, 165, 220 and 275 m³ of pig slurry/ha/year were applied in order to supply 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 kg of total N/ha/year, respectively. These treatments were compared with the ammonium nitrate (200 kg of N/ha/year) source of N and with a control (no nitrogen application). Annually, nitrogen was applied in four divided doses, after the cutting of forage grasses, which takes place five times a year. The total DM yield did not differ between years and increased linearly as a function of pig slurry application, ranging from 2,698 kg of DM/ha/year (control) to 11,371 kg of DM/ha/year (275 m³ of pig slurry/ha/year). There was an increment of 32.3 kg of DM/m³ of pig slurry/ha or 17.7 kg of DM/kg of N/ha. The highest average daily DM accumulation rate (66.8 kg of DM/ha/day) was achieved with the highest pig slurry rate, from February/2007 to April/2008. Nitrogen use efficiency did not differ across pig slurry rates (19.0 kg of DM/kg of N), but it was lower than that obtained with ammonium nitrate (30.3 kg of DM/kg of N). The efficiency index of pig slurry ranged from 0.52 to 0.72. <![CDATA[<b>Tillering dynamics in pastures of guinea grass subjected to grazing severities under intermittent stocking</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This experiment was carried out to analyze the tillering dynamics of the species Panicum maximum cv. Mombaca subjected to three post-grazing heights: residue of 30 cm (30); residue of 50 cm (50); and residue of 50 cm during spring and summer, lowered to 40 cm in the first fall season grazing and to 30 cm in the following grazing cycle, resuming to 50 cm after the first grazing of the following spring season (50-30). Grazings were initiated whenever the swards intercepted 95% of the incident light. The post-grazing heights were allocated in the experimental units in a completely randomized block design with three replications. The density of basal tillers did not vary between the residual heights evaluated. Swards managed with variable residual height (50-30) presented higher rates of appearance and mortality of basal tillers during the summer of 2007, indicating high tiller renovation. Regardless of the post-grazing height evaluated, lower rates of appearance of basal tillers were found in the spring of 2006. The stability index of guinea grass cv. Mombaca was close to 1.0 throughout the experimental period. Swards managed with variable post-grazing present structural changes able to improve the regrowth vigor, which may be important to maximize the use of the forage species in the production system. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of irrigation water salinity and cutting age on the components of biomass of <i>Echinochloa pyramidalis </i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective was to evaluate the effect of salinity of irrigation water and different cutting ages on the biomass components of Echinochloa pyramidalis. Seedlings were planted in plastic pots (volume of 8 L) with sandy-textured Quartzarenic Neosol, under greenhouse conditions. The design was completely randomized in split plots with salinity levels (0.75, 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 and 8.0 dS m-1) in the main plot, and cutting ages (21, 28, 35, 42 and 49 days) in the subplots, with five replicates. After the standardization cut, the dry masses of total forage, dead forage, live forage, green leaf blade, green stem and ratios of live material/dead material and leaf/stem were determined. There was no interaction between the factors studied. Salinity decreased the dry masses of total forage, green leaf blade and green stem. Salinity had no effect on the dry masses of dead forage or ratios of live material/dead material and leaf/stem. Salinity changed the partitioning of dry matter, reducing the percentage of stems, and increasing the percentage of leaves in the dry mass of total forage. The advance in the cutting age caused increases in the dry masses of total forage, dead forage, live forage, green stem and green leaf blade. From the cutting age of 28 days, dead forage dry mass had a very sharp increase. The increase in stem dry mass rose from the 35th day. The extension of the cutting age promoted a decline in the live material/dead material and leaf/stem ratios. The cut of Echinochloa pyramidalis at 21 days, when it presents the best leaf/stem ratio is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Structural and productive characteristics of Marandu and Xaraés grasses fertilized at different times after harvesting</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to assess the effect of applying N and K2O at different times after harvest on the structure and production characteristics of Marandu and Xaraés cultivars of Brachiaria brizantha. Two greenhouse 4 × 2 factorial experiments using a randomized block design with eight treatments and four replicates were carried out. In experiment 1, the plants in pots were fertilized weekly with 50 mg/dm³ of N and K2O until a week before a uniformity cut, for a total of four applications. After cutting, plants were fertilized with 50 mg/dm³ of N and K2O at 0, 3, 6, and 9 days. Cultivars were evaluated after 44 days of regrowth. In experiment 2, a single 50 mg/dm³ dose of N and K2O was applied a week before the uniformity cut, and 100 mg/dm³ of N and K2O were applied at 0, 4, 8, and 12 days after cutting; cultivars were evaluated after 39 days of regrowth. In experiment 1, the leaf/stem ratio and dry matter yield were influenced by the time at which fertilizers were applied. In the second experiment, the total number of leaves, expanded leaves, dead leaves, and the leaf lamina accumulated length and dry matter production were influenced by the time at which fertilizers were applied. Marandugrass had more leaves and tillers than cv. Xaraés, which, in turn, had greater height, dry matter yield and regrowth vigor. Applying nitrogen and potassium fertilizer immediately after cutting improves the structural characteristics, while the dry matter yield is maximized by applying fertilizers immediately after cutting by using lower doses of N, or at 4.5 days after cutting by using higher doses of N. <![CDATA[<b>Morphogenetic and tillering dynamics in Tanzania grass fertilized and non-fertilized with nitrogen according to season</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objectives of this study were to evaluate morphogenetic characteristics and tillering dynamics in Tanzania grass fertilized and non-fertilized with nitrogen, under intermittent grazing, in the spring and the summer. The main plots were composed of four nitrogen rates (0, 100, 200 and 300 kg/ha) and the subplots were growth seasons: spring (October, November and December) and summer (January, February and March). The experimental design was of randomized block with plots subdivided by time (seasons of the year) and four replications. Urea was used as nitrogen supply and was divided into two applications: one in the spring and another in the summer. The experimental units fertilized with N rates of 200 and 300 kg/ha showed six cycles of pasture, with an average of 27 days of pasture interval, while the treatments with no fertilization and 100 kg/ha of N showed only four and five cycles of pasture, respectively. Leaf elongation rate (LER) and the leaf appearance rate (LAR) increased linearly with increasing of N rates. The greatest population density occurred in summer with the higher nitrogen rates. The treatment without N fertilization showed the lowest growth of tiller population, while the other treatments exhibited growth rates above 50% when compared with non-fertilized samples. Nitrogen rates significantly affect the leaf appearance rate and the leaf elongation rate, as well as the number of live leaves in plants of Tanzania grass in both spring and summer. <![CDATA[<b>Dry matter yield, thermal sum and base temperatures in irrigated tropical forage plants</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The present study aimed to estimate the basal temperature and thermal sum for the following tropical forage plants: Brachiaria decumbens, cultivar Basilisk; Brachiaria brizantha, cultivar Marandu; Brachiaria brizantha, cultivar Xaraes; Panicum maximum, cultivar Mombaça; Panicum maximum, cultivar Tanzania; and Cynodon spp, cultivar Tifton 85, in ten cutting seasons, under irrigation. The climatic data were collected in an automatic weather ministration installed in the experimental area and used for irrigation management. The relative development or regression equation method was used to calculate the basal temperature. The estimated basal temperature values were 15.4; 10.5; 14.2; 13.4; 12.4 and 15.1 ºC and the demands were of 2,088.1; 3,542.5; 2,486.5; 2,838.5; 2,701.7 and 2,134.5 degree days for cultivars Basilisk, Marandu, Mombaça, Tanzania, Xaraes and Tifton 85, respectively. The relative development method revealed linearity between plant development and room temperature. Basal temperature can help elaborate climatic zoning for forage species in Brazil and allow the selection of the best suited species for each region in Brazil. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical composition and photosynthetically active radiation of forage grasses under irrigation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The present study aimed to estimate the photosynthetically active radiation of tropical forage grasses in ten cutting dates, under irrigation. The following treatments were used: Brachiaria decumbens grass (Brachiaria decumbens cultivar Basilisk), Marandu grass (Brachiaria brizantha cultivar Marandu), Xaraes grass (Brachiaria brizantha, cultivar Xaraes), Mombaça grass (Panicum maximum cultivar Mombaça), Tanzania grass (Panicum maximum, cultivar Tanzania) and Tifton 85 grass (Cynodon spp cultivar Tifton 85). The weather parameters were collected by an automatic meteorological station installed in the location and used for irrigation management. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot completely randomized block design, considering the grasses as plots and cutting seasons as subplots, with four replications in a 6 × 10 factorial arrangement, six grasses and ten cutting seasons. The results indicated increased use of photosynthetically active radiation in the wet season, in relation to the dry-wet season transition. Basilisk presented the highest values of photosynthetically active radiation (1,648.9 mE). The variables studied were affected by photosynthetically active radiation. The grass cultivars presented different light interceptions. The values of 87; 90; 90; 88; 92 and 77% were found for grass cultivars Basilisk, Marandu, Mombaça, Tanzania, Xaraes and Tifton 85, respectively. Differences were observed in forage accumulation rates for the grass plants studied. The grasses with the best productive performance were Brachiaria decumbens cultivar Basilisk and B. brizantha cultivar Xaraes. The highest values of crude protein and neutral detergent fiber were observed for Tifton 85. The use of photosynthetically active radiation was different among the grasses evaluated. There is a positive association between photosynthetically active radiation and dry matter production. Besides, photosynthetically active radiation indirectly affects crude protein and forage neutral detergent fiber. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of the interaction between straw size and thawing rate and its impact on <i>in vitro</i> quality of post-thaw goat semen</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to analyze interactions between different straw sizes and thawing rates on the post-thaw goat semen parameters. Twenty-one ejaculates (seven per animal) were collected from three stud bucks by using an artificial vagina. After evaluation, the semen was extended in Tris-egg yolk-glycerol and packed in 0.25 and 0.50 mL straws, followed by storage in liquid nitrogen. Thawing was performed using two different rates: 37 ºC/1 min and 55 ºC/7 s. The interaction between the 0.5-mL straw and the thawing rate of 55 ºC/7 s promoted higher progressive motility. When the effect of straws alone was analyzed, it was verified that the use of the 0.50 mL straw promoted better conservation than the 0.25 mL one for progressive motility and acrosomal integrity, after the frozen-thawing procedures. Optimal results for progressive motility were achieved when goat semen was frozen in 0.5 mL straws and thawed in water at 55 ºC/7 s. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic parameters and relationships between heifers rebreeding and hip height in Nellore cattle </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to estimate heritability and verify the genetic correlations between heifers subsequent rebreeding with weaning hip height (WHH) and yearling hip height (YHH), using Bayesian inference. The (co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated using an animal nonlinear (threshold) model for subsequent rebreeding and an animal linear model for WHH and YHH. The animal model included the contemporary group as the systematic effect and direct additive genetic and residual effects as random effects. Genetic maternal and maternal permanent environment effects were also considered in the model for WHH. Covariables considered were: rest period (linear effect), for subsequent rebreeding; animal age at measurement and age of cow at calving (linear and quadratic effects), for WHH and YHH. Direct heritability estimates were 0.14±0.04, 0.45±0.03 and 0.51±0.02 for subsequent rebreeding, WHH and YHH, respectively. For maternal effects, the heritability of WHH and the proportion attributed to the permanent environmental effect were 0.08±0.02 and 0.04, respectively. The posterior means of genetic correlations estimates between subsequent rebreeding with WHH and YHH were -0.16±0.05 and -0.21±0.04, respectively. Selection response for subsequent rebreeding of heifers would be low. Increase in the rate of subsequent rebreeding could be obtained with improvements in the management applied to heifers. The inclusion of hip height in selection indices, especially when measured at yearling, promotes small reduction in the rate of subsequent rebreeding of Nellore heifers. <![CDATA[<b>Follicle-stimulating hormone to substitute equine chorionic gonadotropin in the synchronization of ovulation in Santa Inês ewes </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The substitution of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in protocols for synchronization of ovulation in Santa Inês ewes was assessed. Ten females were submitted to the insertion of intravaginal sponges containing 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate for 10 days; after this period sponges were withdrawn and the animals were randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 (n = 5): intramuscular injection of 0.5 mL d-cloprostenol and 300 UI eCG; Group 2 (n = 5): intramuscular injection of 0.5 mL d-cloprostenol and 20 mg FSH. Interval between sponge withdrawal and estrus beginning was 27.7 h and 35.9 h for eCG and FSH, respectively. Interval between sponge withdrawal and the end of estrus was 55.8 h for eCG treatment and 55.6 h for FSH treatment. Estrus length was 29.3 h and 19.6 h, for eCG and FSH treatments, respectively. The biggest follicle and the second in size measured 0.74 cm and 0.54 cm for eCG treatment, whereas for the FSH treatment they measured 0.73 and 0.50 cm. The interval between the beginning of estrus and ovulation was similar within all groups: 21.0 h for eCG treated ewes and 25.2 h for the ones treated with FSH. Ewes treated with eCG presented an interval of 47.5 h between sponge withdrawal and ovulation, while the ones treated with FSH presented a 61.1 h interval. Ovulation occurred 8.3 h before the end of estrus in the eCG group. On the other hand, ewes treated with FSH ovulated 5.5 h after the end of estrus. Estrus and ovulation were efficiently synchronized in Santa Inês ewes by using long-term progestogen protocol associated to the administration of 20 mg FSH, along with Prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) at the moment of sponge withdrawal, thus substituting the use of eCG. <![CDATA[<b>Use of long-acting progesterone to acyclic embryo recipient mares</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of cyclic and acyclic progesterone-treated recipient mares in a commercial embryo transfer program. Acyclic recipients were treated with decreasing amounts of estradiol cypionate (ECP® - Pfizer Saúde Animal, São Paulo, Brazil), followed by 1500 mg of a sustained-release progesterone injection (P4LA150® - Laboratórios B.E.T., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Out of all 1506 embryo recovery attempts performed, 59.36% were positive (894/1506). Pregnancy rates of cyclic and acyclic mares were, respectively, 44.12% (319/723) and 57.68% (139/241) - higher in acyclic recipients under progesterone treatment. Embryo loss was similar between groups (9.72% 31/319 vs. 11.51% - 16/139). When fertility data on acyclic mares treated with long-action progesterone were grouped in relation to the interval of the beginning of the treatment with progesterone to the embryo transfer, there was no difference in pregnancy rates at 12 days (51.28% - 20/39; 58.92% - 33/56; 60.52% - 46/76 and 58.57% - 41/70 for embryos transferred 3 (P3), 4 (P4), 5 (P5) and 6 (P6) days after the beginning of the treatment with progesterone). Groups P3, P4, P5 and P6 showed embryo loss rates of 20.00% (4/20), 12.12% (4/33), 2.17% (1/46) and 17.07% (7/41), respectively. These rates were similar in groups P3, P4 and P6. Pregnant recipients submitted to an embryo transferring procedure on P5 showed lower embryo mortality rates than on P3 and P6. P4 recipients tended to suffer higher embryo mortality rates than P5. Acyclic recipient mares under progesterone treatment can be satisfactoryly used in embryo transfer programs. <![CDATA[<b>Testicular shape and andrological aspects of young Nellore bulls under extensive farming</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Aiming to determine the relationship between the frequency of testicular shape and the andrological aspects in young Nellore bulls, 18,676 animals were assessed. All andrological examinations were performed between the years 2000 and 2008. Animals were classified as able for breeding, able for breeding in natural mating system, unable for breeding and discarded. The testicular shape was classified as long, fairly long, oval-long, spherical-oval, and spherical. The analysis of Pearson correlations was performed for testicular shape with scrotal circumference, testicular volume, progressive motility, sperm vigor, major defects, minor defects and total defects. Testicles with oval shape prevailed (99.61%). It was obseved that 76.34; 66.34; 64.34; 58.33 and 50.00% of the animals were classified as sound for breeding for shapes long, fairly long, oval-long, spherical-oval, and spherical, respectively. Correlations between testicular shape with scrotal circumference, testicular volume, progressive motility, sperm vigor, major, minor and total defects were 0.26; 0.08; 0.00; 0.11; -0.02; 0.02 and -0.01, respectively. Testicular shape had no influence upon the andrological examination results. Testicles of long shape were prevalent within the population. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of experimentally inoculated <i>Salmonella </i>Enteritidis on the gastrointestinal health of turkeys </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Avaliaram-se os efeitos de Salmonella Enteritidis sobre a colonização e o desenvolvimento do trato intestinal, a conversão alimentar e o ganho de peso em perus. Um total de 135 perus de corte de 1 dia foi distribuído em três tratamentos: controle; perus oriundos de ovos inoculados com Salmonella Enteritidis via casca e perus desafiados com água de bebida com Salmonella Enteritidis. Aos 10, 20 e 28 dias, avaliaram-se as variáveis de desempenho e coletaram-se amostras para avaliação bacteriana, biometria e histomorfometria. Realizaram-se também, nos dias 1, 15 e 28 de idade, coletas de mecônio/excretas de todas as aves. A colonização intestinal aumentou durante a fase inicial quando Salmonella foi inoculada via casca. O intestino apresentou maior peso ao 1º, 10º e 28º dias quando Salmonella esteve presente, sem diferença no comprimento. Salmonella Enteritidis foi capaz de colonizar o trato intestinal, estabelecer infecção, reduzir o desempenho das aves e modificar as estruturas celulares do intestino. A contaminação da casca do ovo antes da incubação propiciou a ocorrência de infecções ao nascimento, e a frequência de isolamento de Salmonella Enteritidis persistiu até 28 dias de idade. A inoculação de Salmonella pela água de bebida gerou aves infectadas, porém com menor nível de infecção com o avançar da idade. O desempenho de aves inoculadas com Salmonella Enteritidis é menor e isso confirma potenciais prejuízos para a produção avícola.<hr/>The effects of Salmonella Enteritidis on the colonization and development of the intestinal tract, feed conversion and weight gain were evaluated. A total of 135 day old turkeys were assigned to three treatments: control; turkeys from eggs inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis via shell and turkeys challenged with drinking water with Salmonella Enteritidis. At 10, 20 and 28 days, the performance variables were evaluated and samples were collected to perform bacterial assessment, biometrics and histomorphometry. On days one, 15 and 28, samples of meconium/excreta were collected from all birds. The intestinal colonization increased during the initial phase when Salmonella was inoculated via eggshell. The intestine showed greater weight on the first, tenth and 28th days when Salmonella was present, with no differences regarding the intestine length. Salmonella Enteritidis was able to colonize the intestinal tract, establish infection, reduce bird performance and modify the cellular structures of the intestine. Contamination of the eggshell before hatching generated birds susceptible to infection at birth and the frequency of isolation of Salmonella Enteritidis persisted until 28 days of age. Salmonella inoculation by drinking water generated infected birds, but with less recovery of the pathogen with age increase. Inoculated birds showed inferior performance, confirming the potential damage to poultry production. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of dietary mineral bioplex in pregnant and lactating sow diets on piglet performance and physiological characteristics </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A total of thirty-six Landrace × Large White sows were inseminated with semen of Large White boars and studied in late pregnancy (30 days pre-partum) and lactation phases to determine the effects of trace mineral supplementation in organic (bioplex) and inorganic forms at two levels of supplementation (1 and 2 kg/t) on the reproductive performance of the females and on piglet performance and physiologic characteristics until weaning at 21 days of age. The trace mineral supplements contained 0.0075% selenium, 2.50% zinc, 1.00% manganese, 4.00% iron, 0.25% copper and 0.01% chromium. The experimental design was completely randomized in a 2 × 2 factorial scheme with nine replicates each. The piglets were weighed at birth and at weaning (21 days) and were given a dose of 100 mg of dextran iron on the third day of life. For performance, the mean measure of the litter, including both males and females, was considered. Blood and liver were collected from the piglets at birth (two per farrowing, one male and one female), and milk was collected 10 days thereafter. Increased weight at birth and at 21 days and increased iron content in the blood and liver were found for piglets when the sows were given the organic form of trace minerals. Increased iron content in the milk was observed for higher supplementation with organic minerals only. The blood iron levels indicated a significant increase in levels with the use of the organic minerals. These results indicate important benefits in using trace minerals in organic forms for the performance of both sows and piglets. <![CDATA[<b>Available phosphorus in diets with or without ractopamine for late finishing gilts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en With the objective to evaluate levels of available phosphorus (aP) in diets with or without ractopamine, 112 gilts with high genetic potential for meat deposition with initial weigh of 94.0±2.28 kg were allotted in a completely randomized block design, in a 4 × 2 factorial arrangement (0.109, 0.209, 0.309, and 0.409% aP and 0 or 5 ppm of ractopamine), with eight treatments, seven replicates, and two gilts per experimental unit. There were no interactions between aP levels and ractopamine. The levels of available phosphorus influenced both daily weight gain and daily phosphorus intake, which increased linearly. Feed conversion improved in a quadratic way up to the estimated level of 0.330% aP maximum response. Daily weight gain increased and feed conversion improved by adding ractopamine to the diets. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity decreased linearly by increasing the levels of available phosphorus. Bone strength, ash, calcium, and phosphorus contents in the bones also increased quadratically with maximum responses at 0.320, 0.270, 0.277, and 0.295% aP, respectively. The available phosphorus level of 0.330%, corresponding to a daily intake of 8.67 g of aP is suitable for 94 to 125 kg gilts selected for meat deposition fed diets with or without ractopamine. <![CDATA[<b>Fiber sources in diets for newly weaned piglets</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300024&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of purified cellulose, soybean hulls and citrus pulp in the diet of weaned piglets. A total of 72 piglets (36 castrated males and 36 females) weaned at 21 days of age (BW 6.45±0.66 kg) was distributed according to a randomized block design, for evaluation of performance, transit time, diarrhea incidence and blood parameters of piglets which received diets containing different sources of fiber. The experimental diets were: control diet - diet composed of corn, soybean meal and a source of lactose; control + 1.5% purified cellulose; control + 3% soybean hull and control + 9% citrus pulp. The inclusion of purified cellulose, soybean hulls and citrus pulp in diets of weaned piglets did not affect the performance or transit time of diets in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the use of purified cellulose reduced incidence of diarrhea. The use of purified cellulose, soybean hull and citrus pulp in the diet of weaned piglets does not affect performance or gastrointestinal transit time. The addition of purified cellulose promotes a beneficial effect to control the diarrhea in weaned piglets. <![CDATA[<b>Ileal microbiota of broilers fed different diets </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300025&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Este estudo foi conduzido para analisar as alterações do perfil microbiano da digesta ileal de frangos de corte alimentados com dietas contendo diferentes níveis de energia e aditivos. Foram preparadas duas dietas: uma à base de milho e farelo de soja com nível de energia padrão e outra de baixa energia com milho e os farelos de soja e trigo. Para cada nível de energia, foram ou não acrescentados o probiótico Enterococcus faecium; as enzimas xilanase, amilase mais β-glucanase; e a combinação do probiótico com as enzimas, resultando em 8 tratamentos. As aves foram distribuídas em delineamento inteiramente ao acaso com arranjo fatorial 2 × 4 e cada tratamento teve 5 repetições de 12 aves. Aos 19 dias, uma ave de cada repetição foi abatida e o conteúdo ileal coletado e armazenado a -24 ºC. Foram feitas as extrações do DNA do microrganismo probiótico e da microbiota ileal utilizando-se o kit QIAamp DNA Stool, conforme as recomendações do fabricante. As amostras extraídas foram amplificadas por PCR. Utilizou-se a técnica de eletroforese em gel com gradiente desnaturante para caracterização do perfil da microbiota ileal e do probiótico utilizado nas dietas. Todos os tratamentos apresentaram padrões de amplicons diferentes, com exceção das enzimas isoladas e em combinação nas dietas com energia padrão. O perfil do microrganismo probiótico esteve ausente em todas as dietas. Os aditivos introduzidos às dietas foram capazes de alterar a microbiota digestiva do lúmem ileal, porém o probiótico utilizado não foi capaz de colonizar o trato ileal dos frangos de corte.<hr/>The study was conducted to analyze alterations in the microbiological profile of the ileal digesta of broilers fed different levels of energy and additives. A standard diet based on corn-soybean meal and a low energy diet based on corn, soybean and wheat bran were prepared. Either Enterococus faecium probiotic or xylanase, amylase plus β-glucanase enzymes or the mix of probiotic and exzymes were added or not to each energy level, resulting in eight treatments. Birds were distributed in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement in a completely randomized design, and each treatment had 5 replications of 12 birds. One bird of each repetition was slaughtered at 19 days of age and the ileal contents were collected and stored at -24 ºC until analysis. DNA was extracted from the microorganism probiotic and ileal content using the QIAamp DNA Stool kit following the recommendations of the manufacturer. The extracted samples were amplified by PCR and the ileal microbiota and probiotic profiles were characterized using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The results show that all treatments resulted in different profiles of amplicons, except for enzymes alone or mix with probiotic in the standard energy diet. The probiotic microorganism profile was absent in all diets. The use of additives changed the digestive microbiota in the ileum, although the probiotic was not capable of colonizing the ileum of the birds. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical composition and metabolizable energy values of feedstuffs for broiler chickens</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300026&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to estimate the values of apparent metabolizable energy and apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance and determine the chemical composition of the following feedstuffs: babassu meal, sunflower meal, corn gluten meal, babassu starch flour, meat and bones meal, beans, millet, cookies residue, pasta residue and bread-making residue. The traditional method of excreta collection was used with broilers in the period of 14 to 24 days of age, which were distributed in a completely randomized design with eleven treatments and six replicates of six birds each. Each feedstuff replaced the reference diet at levels of 30 or 40% depending on the type of feedstuff. Chicks were housed in cages fitted with trays to collect the excreta. The apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance (kcal/kg) on the natural matter of feedstuffs were: babassu meal, 1,116; sunflower meal, 1,607; corn gluten meal, 3,826; babassu flour starch, 1,731; meat and bone flour, 2,524; common beans, 693; millet, 3,046; cookies residue, 3,351; pasta residue, 3,543 and bread-making residue, 3,494. <![CDATA[<b>Intake and digestibility of concentrate and legume hay diets fed to foals</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300027&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was carried out to evaluate intake, nutrient digestibility and body weight gain of foals on diets of concentrate and legume hay. Treatments were: lucerne hay (Medicago sativa), Campo Grande stylo hay (20% Stylosanthes macrocephala and 80% Stylosanthes capitata) and Mineirão stylo hay (Stylosanthes guianensis cv. Mineirão). Fifteen weaned foals at 160 Kg body weight (BW) were used. The experiment was entirely randomized with three treatments and five replicates. Dry matter intake was estimated at 30 g of dry matter (DM)/kg BW and was comprised of 40% concentrate meal and 60% hay. Fecal production and nutrient digestibility were calculated by the LIPE® marker methodology. There was no difference between Lucerne hay and Campo Grande stylo hay intake, but intake of Mineirão stylo hay was lower than that of Lucerne hay. Body weight gain and nutrient digestibility coefficients were similar for foals fed different diets. Intake was similar for Campo Grande and Lucerne hay, and led to similar body weight gain in diets with concentrate. Mineirão stylo hay, at 137 days of growth, was not palatable for the foals. <![CDATA[<b>Reduction of dietary protein on performance and carcass of broiler chickens from 1 to 21 days of age</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300028&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en O experimento foi conduzido em delineamento inteiramente ao acaso para avaliar os efeitos da redução de proteína (PB) e da suplementação de aminoácidos essenciais sobre o desempenho e as características de carcaça de frangos de corte machos de linhagem comercial na fase de 1 a 21 dias de idade. Foram utilizados 720 frangos distribuídos em 4 tratamentos e seis repetições com 30 aves cada. Os níveis de PB utilizados foram 230, 210, 190 e 170 g/kg. Houve efeito linear decrescente dos níveis de PB sobre a conversão alimentar, o ganho de peso, o peso final e o consumo. Houve aumento linear dos teores de gordura e matéria seca das carcaças com a redução do conteúdo de proteína da dieta.<hr/>A completely randomized experimental design was carried out to evaluate the crude protein reduction of diets and essential amino acids supplementation effects on performance and body composition of male broiler chickens from one to 21 days of age. A total of seven hundred and twenty broiler chickens were used. Birds were alloted in four treatments and six replicates of thirty birds each. The diets crude protein (CP) levels were 230, 210, 190 and 170 g/kg. There was decreasing linear effect of the CP levels on feed:gain ratio, weight gain, the final weight and feed intake. Carcass fat and carcass dry matter increased linearly with protein reduction. <![CDATA[<b>Santa Inês sheep supplementation on urochloa grass pasture during the dry season</b>: <b>intake, nutrient digestibility and performance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300029&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study was conducted with the objective of evaluating the effect of concentrate supplementation, formulated with different ingredients (Mesquite pod meal, sorghum meal or wheat meal and mineral supplementation) on performance, intake and digestibility of nutrients in Santa Inês lambs grazing on urochloa grass during the dry season. Twenty-four uncastrated weaned Santa Inês sheep, with average body weight (BW) 20±2 kg with an average of 120 days of age were used in the assay. The experiment lasted 75 days. The animals grazing deferred Urochloa grass (Urochloa mosambicensis (Hack) Daudy) were distributed into four treatments consisting of mineral supplementation provided ad libitum and concentrated supplements containing mesquite pod meal, sorghum meal or wheat meal, supplied 10 g /kg BW on dry matter basis. The intakes of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) were affected by the intake of concentrate supplement, regardless of the ingredients used in the supplements, compared with the mineral supplementation treatment, since the consumption of forage was reduced in 30% with mesquite pod meal supplement, and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake was not affected in relation to treatments. The digestibility of DM and CP were higher for treatments with supplements, and NDF digestibility did not differ between treatments. A significant difference was observed in the values of average daily gain for the treatments with concentrate supplementation compared with the one of mineral supplementation. The supplementation with concentrate in grazing enables improvement of performance, intake and digestibility of nutrients regardless of the ingredient used in the supplement. <![CDATA[<b>Growth performance of native goats fed diets containing different levels of energy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300030&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Castrated male goats (n = 40) of the Moxotó (n = 20) and Canindé (n = 20) breeds with an average weight of 15.3 kg were studied to determine intake, nutrient digestibility and weight gain for two diets with different energy levels. The experiment utilized a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (two breeds and two diets), in which goats were randomly allocated. A diet of low energy density and a forage:concentrate ratio of 70:30 was utilized along with a diet of high energy density and a forage:concentrate ratio of 35:64. To determine the nutrient intake and digestibility, at the end of the experiment, goats were kept in metabolism cages for a period of 15 days. Weighing of the goats was conducted weekly over a period of 90 days. The goats that were fed a diet of high energy density displayed significantly increased consumption of metabolic fractions, with the exception of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber, when compared with those fed a diet of low energy density. The lack of difference in dry matter and neutral detergent fiber intake indicated that goats have a high digestive capacity for the diet containing a greater quantity of Maniçoba hay. Weight gain was significantly greater for those on the diet of greater energy density. Among the breeds, Canindé goats recorded the highest average consumption and weight gain. Coefficients of digestibility were significantly greater for the more energy dense diet, with no difference between breeds. Regardless of diet, the Canindé breed shows greater weight gain than the Moxotó breed. <![CDATA[<b><i>In vitro </i></b><b>and <i>in situ </i>activity of carboxymethyl cellulase and glutamate dehydrogenase according to supplementation with different nitrogenous compounds</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300031&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of supplementation with different nitrogenous compounds on the activities of carboxymethil cellulase (CMCase) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). In the first experiment, four treatments were evaluated in vitro: cellulose, cellulose with casein, cellulose with urea, and cellulose with casamino acids. After 6, 12 and 24 hours of incubation, CMCase and GDH activity, pH, and concentrations of ammonia nitrogen (AN) and microbial protein were measured. In the three incubation periods, the concentration of AN was higher when urea was used as a supplemental source of nitrogen. The activity of CMCase was higher with the addition of urea and casamino acids when compared with the control and the casein treatment. Supplementation with casamino acids provided higher GDH activity when compared with the control at 6 hours of incubation. At 12 hours of incubation, the GHD activity was also stimulated by casein. At 24 hours, there was no difference in GHD activity among treatments. In the second experiment, three rumen-fistulated bulls were used for in situ evaluation. Animals were fed Tifton hay (Cynodon sp.) ad libitum. The treatments consisted of control (no supplementation), supplementation with non-protein nitrogenous compounds (urea and ammonium sulphate, 9:1) and supplementation with protein (albumin). In treatments with nitrogenous compound supplementation, 1 g of crude protein/kg of body weight was supplied. The experiment was conducted in a 3 × 3 Latin square design. The measurements were performed at 6, 12 and 24 hours after supplementation. No difference in GDH activity was observed among treatments. The control treatment showed higher CMCase activity when compared with the treatments containing supplemental sources of nitrogen. However, urea supplementation provided higher CMCase activity compared to albumin. <![CDATA[<b>Sources of variation in milk urea nitrogen in Paraná dairy cows</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300032&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The present study was conducted to determine the relationship between milk urea nitrogen (MUN) and milk yield, fat and protein contents, breed and season effects, parity and days in milk in dairy cows from Paraná State, Brazil. A total of 127,428 test-days from 16,013 dairy cows belonging to 96 herds enrolled in an official milk recording program were analyzed. Multivariate mixed model methodology was used to determine the relationship between MUN and the fixed effects and the covariable milk production. Milk urea nitrogen averaged 14.45±4.60 mg/dL. Positive and intermediate association between MUN and milk yield (r = 0.34) were found. Holstein cows showed lower MUN adjusted means than crossbred, Jersey, and Brown Swiss cows: 14.18 vs. 15.49, 16.12, and 17.62 mg/dL, respectively. First-lactation cows showed higher MUN values than second-lactation and older cows: 16.16 vs. 15.95, and 15.45 mg/dL, respectively. MUN test-days collected during the winter were higher than those collected in the other seasons. The effects of the lactation stage on MUN were significant, with the highest MUN values observed in the sixth month of lactation. High-producing dairy cows showed higher milk urea concentrations but several environmental factors may contribute to reduce this important parameter of diet utilization efficiency. <![CDATA[<b>Intake, nutrient digestibility and performance of dairy heifers fed diets containing palm kernel cake </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300033&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Objetivou-se avaliar os efeitos da inclusão de torta de dendê na dieta sobre o consumo, a digestibilidade das dietas e o desempenho de novilhas leiteiras. Utilizaram-se 16 novilhas leiteiras mestiças Holandês × Zebu, com média de 13 meses de idade e peso vivo inicial de 183,4±32,5 kg, distribuídas em delineamento inteiramente casualizado, com quatro níveis de torta de dendê (0; 11,9; 22,9 e 34,2% da matéria seca total), cada um com quatro repetições. Avaliaram-se os consumos de matéria seca (MS), proteína bruta (PB), fibra em detergente neutro (FDN), carboidratos não-fibrosos (CNF), extrato etéreo (EE) e nutrientes digestíveis totais (NDT) e as digestibilidades aparentes da MS, PB, FDN, CNF e EE. Houve redução linear no consumo de MS, PB, FDN, CNF e NDT. A digestibilidade aparente da MS e FDN reduziu com a inclusão da torta de dendê na dieta, enquanto a de PB e dos CNF sofreu efeito quadrático. A inclusão de torta de dendê nas dietas promoveu aumento linear da digestibilidade aparente do extrato etéreo. O ganho de peso reduziu linearmente com a inclusão de torta de dendê na dieta, sendo observados valores de 1,06; 0,99; 0,89 e 0,54 kg/dia para as dietas contendo 0; 11,9; 22,9 ou 34,2% de torta de dendê na dieta total, respectivamente. A conversão alimentar não foi afetada pelos níveis de inclusão de torta de dendê na dieta. A inclusão de torta de dendê na dieta reduz o consumo de nutrientes e o desempenho de novilhas leiteiras em crescimento, porém, quando utilizada em níveis de até 24,6% da dieta total, proporciona ganho de peso compatível com os obtidos em programas de recria visando à parição aos 24 meses de idade.<hr/>The objective was to evaluate the effects of inclusion of palm kernel cake in the diet on intake, digestibility and performance of dairy heifers. Sixteen dairy Holstein-Zebu crossbred heifers with average age of 13 months and average weight of 183.4±32.5 kg were distributed to four treatments in a completely randomized design with four levels of palm kernel cake (0, 11.9, 22.9 and 34.2% from total dry matter), each one with four replicates. The intake of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC), ether extract (EE) and total digestible nutrients (TDN), and the apparent digestibility of DM, CP, NDF, NFC and EE were evaluated. There was linear reduction in DM, CP, NDF, NFC, and TDN intake. The apparent digestibility of DM and NDF reduced with the inclusion of palm kernel cake in the diet, while the apparent digestibility of CP and NFC showed quadratic effect. The inclusion of palm kernel cake in the diets resulted in linear increase in the apparent digestibility of ether extract. Weight gain decreased linearly with the inclusion of palm kernel cake in the diet, with values of 1.06, 0.99, 0.89 and 0.54 kg/day for diets containing 0, 11.9, 22, 9 or 34.2% palm kernel cake, respectively. Feed conversion was not affected by the inclusion of levels of palm kernel cake. The inclusion of palm kernel cake in the diet reduces nutrient intake and performance of dairy heifers during growth, but when used in levels up to 24.6% of the total diet, it provides weight gain compatible with growth programs aiming calving at 24 months of age. <![CDATA[<b>Intake, digestibility, rumen characteristics and microbial protein synthesis efficiency in bovine and bubaline fed sugar cane silage with additives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300034&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Intake and total and ruminal digestibility, ruminal characteristics and microbial synthesis efficiency in bovine and bubaline fed sugar cane silages treated with microbial additive Lactobacillus buchneri (inoculate) and the addition of: cassava byproduct meal at 250 g/kg; soybean hulls at 250 g/kg; and urea at 33 g/kg, in natural matter were evaluated. The forage:concentrate ratio was 600:400 g/kg. Bubaline body weight (BW) was 403±49 kg and bovine BW was 492±10 kg. The experimental design consisted of two 4 × 4 Latin squares in a 4 × 2 factorial arrangement. The average DM intake did not differ between species, and the diet with urea showed lowest intake (13 g/kg BW). Among the diets, the one with soybean hulls addition increased the total digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF), while addition of urea reduced the DM, OM and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC) total digestibility in both species. Bovines have higher ruminal digestibility of NFC in the diet with addition of inoculate, inoculate + soybean meal and inoculate + urea diets than bubaline. Ruminal liquid pH was higher for bubaline (6.61) than bovines (6.48). Diets with addition of cassava byproduct and soybean hulls presented higher ruminal short chain fatty acids concentrations. Ruminal ammonia concentration (N-NH3) did not differ between species and the treatment with urea presented the highest value of N-NH3 (17.25 mg/100 mL). Liquid passage rate was higher for bubaline (12.9%/h) than bovines (9.9%/h). Bubaline has higher microbial synthesis efficiency than bovine: 35.1 vs 24.6 g of N-microbial/kg OM of the total rumen digestibility, regardless of the diet. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical composition and ruminal degradation kinetics of crude protein and amino acids, and intestinal digestibility of amino acids from tropical forages</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300035&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this research was to determine the chemical composition and ruminal degradation of the crude protein (CP), total and individual amino acids of leaves from tropical forages: perennial soybean (Neonotonia wightii), cassava (Manihot esculenta), leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) and ramie (Boehmeria nivea), and to estimate the intestinal digestibility of the rumen undegradable protein (RUDP) and individual amino acids of leaves from the tropical forages above cited, but including pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan). Three nonlactating Holstein cows were used to determine the in situ ruminal degradability of protein and amino acids from leaves (6, 18 and 48 hours of ruminal incubation). For determination of the intestinal digestibility of RUDP, the residue from ruminal incubation of the materials was used for 18 hours. A larger concentration of total amino acids for ramie and smaller for perennial soybean were observed; however, they were very similar in leucaena and cassava. Leucine was the essential amino acid of greater concentration, with the exception of cassava, which exhibited a leucine concentration 40.45% smaller. Ramie showed 14.35 and 22.31% more lysine and methionine, respectively. The intestinal digestibility of RUDP varied from 23.56; 47.87; 23.48; 25.69 and 10.86% for leucaena, perennial soybean, cassava, ramie and pigeon pea, respectively. The individual amino acids of tropical forage disappeared in different extensions in the rumen. For the correct evaluation of those forages, one should consider their composition of amino acids, degradations and intestinal digestibility, once the amino acid composition of the forage does not reflect the amino acid profiles that arrived in the small intestine. Differences between the degradation curves of CP and amino acids indicate that degradation of amino acids cannot be estimated through the degradation curve of CP, and that amino acids are not degraded in a similar degradation profile. <![CDATA[<b>Performance and carcass traits of sheep in feedlot and fed diets containing detoxified castor cake replacing soybean meal </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300036&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Objetivou-se avaliar a influência de quatro níveis de substituição (0; 33; 67 e 100%) do farelo de soja pela torta de mamona destoxificada em rações sobre o desempenho produtivo e as características de carcaça de ovinos mestiços de Morada Nova. Utilizaram-se 20 machos não-castrados, com peso vivo médio de 18,7 kg, em delineamento de blocos ao acaso com cinco repetições. Foram avaliados o desempenho, o peso, o rendimento e a composição regional das carcaças. A substituição do farelo de soja pela torta de mamona destoxificada não teve efeito sobre o peso vivo ao abate e o ganho de peso total durante o confinamento, entretanto teve efeito linear decrescente sobre o ganho médio diário e a conversão alimentar dos animais. Não foi observado efeito dos níveis de substituição do farelo de soja pela torta de mamona destoxificada sobre o peso vivo final, o peso vivo ao abate em jejum, o peso corporal vazio, o peso da carcaça quente e o peso da carcaça fria. O rendimento de carcaça quente foi afetado pelos níveis de substituição do farelo de soja pela torta de mamona, mesmo comportamento observado para o rendimento de carcaça fria. O peso da costela e os rendimentos da costela e da paleta também foram influenciados pelos níveis de substituição do farelo de soja pela torta de mamona destoxificada. O peso e o rendimento das demais regiões, no entanto, não apresentaram diferenças entre níveis de substituição. A torta de mamona destoxificada pode ser utilizada em níveis de até 67% de substituição ao farelo de soja em dietas para ovinos.<hr/>The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of four substitution levels (0; 33; 67 and 100%) of soybean meal by detoxified castor cake on performance and carcass characteristics of 20 non-castrated male crossbred Morada Nova lambs, with mean body weight of 18.7 kg, in a randomized blocks design with four treatments and five replicates. Performance, carcass weight, carcass yield and relative composition of the commercial cuts were evaluated. The substitution levels of soybean meal by detoxified castor cake had no effect on final live weight or total weight gain in feedlot, but it caused decreasing linear effect on average daily gain and feed conversion ratio was observed. There was no effect of the substitution levels of soybean meal by detoxified castor cake on final body weight, live weight at fasting, empty body weight, hot carcass weight or cold carcass weight. The hot carcass yield was affected by substitution levels; the same behavior was observed for cold carcass yield. Rib weight and yield and shoulders yield had linear decrease of substitution levels of soybean meal by detoxified castor cake, whereas weight and yield of other regions did not present any effect for the substitution levels. Detoxified castor cake can be utilized in levels of up to 67% in substitution of the soybean meal in sheep diets. <![CDATA[<b>Nutritional requirements of energy, protein and macrominerals for maintenance and weight gain of young crossbred Nellore × Holstein bulls on pasture</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300037&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to estimate requirements of energy, protein and macrominerals of young Nellore/Holstein crossbreds bulls supplemented on pastures of Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. Thirty-five young bulls, at 8.53±0.18 months of age and with initial body weight of 230.6±6.1 kg were used. Ten animals were slaughtered as reference, in different weight range, and the other animals were slaughtered at the end of the experimental period. For estimate of net energy requirements for weight, a regression equation between log of retained energy (RE) and log of empty body weight gain (EBWG) was constructed. Net requirements of Ca, P, Mg, Na and K were determined by the equation Y' = a.b.Xb-1, in which a and b represent the intercept and the coefficient of equation of prediction of macrominerals in body content, respectively. Requirements of metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm) were obtained from retained energy in function of metabolizable energy intake (MEI). The requirements of MEm of Nellore/Holstein crossbreds young bulls on pasture was 125 kcal/EBW0.75/day. The efficiency of ME utilization for maintenance (k) of grazing Nellore/Holstein crossbred young mbulls was 0.58 and 0.24 for gain. The total metabolizable protein requirements for an animal with 400 kg and with average daily gain of 1.0 kg, were 638.36 g/day. The dietetic requirements of Ca and P for an animal with 400 kg BW were 0.49 and 0.21% of DM, respectively. Daily metabolizable energy requirement for maintenance of grazing Nellore/Holstein crossbred young bulls was 11.6% greater than the values found for cattle in feedlot in Brazil (112 kcal/kg EBW0.75). <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of mannan-oligosaccharides offered in milk replacers or calf starters and their effect on performance and rumen development of dairy calves</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300038&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to evaluate the route of administration of mannan-oligosaccharides in the diet of dairy calves and their effects on performance and plasma parameters indicative of rumen development. Following birth, twenty-four male Holstein calves were used in a completely randomized design and assigned to the following treatments: Control; 4 g/d Bio-Mos® (Alltech Biotech.) added to starter concentrate; and 4 g/d Bio-Mos® mixed into milk replacer. Animals were housed in individual hutches with free access to water, and fed 4L/d of milk replacer until weaning at six weeks. Calves also received 23g/kg crude protein of starter concentrate ad libitum. Fecal scores were evaluated daily. Body weights, growth measurements and blood samples for glucose, urea-N and β-hidroxibutyrate analyses were taken weekly until 8 weeks of age. There were no significant effects of treatment or treatment × age interactions for mean starter concentrate intake, weight gain or body growth. However, there was a significant age effect for all parameters. Fecal scores were not affected by treatments. Also, plasma concentration of glucose, urea-N or β-hidroxibutyrate were not affected by treatment or the treatment × age interaction. However, urea-N and β-hidroxibutyrate concentrations significantly increased with age, suggesting adequate rumen development. Under the conditions of this study, there were no calf performance benefits when mannan-oligosaccharides were incorporated into milk replacer or calf starter concentrate. <![CDATA[<b>Energy nutritional requirements for females of Nellore, Nellore × Angus and Nellore × Simmental fed on two forage</b>: <b>concentrate ratios</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300039&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to determine the energy nutritional requirements for females of Nellore, Nellore × Angus and Nellore × Simmental fed on two levels of concentrate. Sixty heifers from three genetic groups were used: 20 Nellore, 20 Nellore × Angus and 20 Nellore × Simmental. Twelve belonged to the reference group (four of each genetic group) and were slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment. Another 12 heifers (four of each genetic group) were fed on the maintenance level and 36 heifers (12 animals of each genetic group) were kept in feeding system ad libitum with 30 (six in each group) or 50% (six of each group) dry matter concentrate. Animals were randomly assigned to six treatments in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement (three genetic groups and two diets) with six replicates per treatment. Nine more heifers were used in a parallel experiment to estimate the apparent digestibility coefficients (three from each genetic group). Net energy requirements were estimated by the equation of retained energy as a function of metabolic empty body weight (EBW0.75) and empty body weight gain (EBWg). Requirements of metabolizable and net energy were estimated for maintenance by the equation of heat production as a function of metabolizable energy intake. Using the combined equation RE (retained energy; Mcal/day) = 0.0703 × EBW.75 × EBWg1.128 to predict net energy requirements for weight gain is recommended. The requirement of metabolizable and net energy for maintenance of all groups is 70.55 and 106.53 kcal/kgEBW0.75/day, respectively. Use efficiencies of metabolizable energy for gain and maintenance are 36.41 and 66.23%, for the three genetic groups respectively. <![CDATA[<b>Protein requirements for females of Nellore, Nellore × Angus and Nellore × Simmental fed on two forage</b>: <b>concentrate ratios</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300040&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study aimed to determine the protein requirements for females of Nellore, F1 Nellore × Angus and F1 Nellore × Simmental fed on two concentrate levels (30 and 50%). Sixty heifers from three genetic groups with 18 months of age were used: 20 Nellore, 20 Nellore × Angus and 20 Nellore × Simmental. Twelve heifers of the reference group (four of each genetic group) were slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment. Another 12 heifers (four of each genetic group) were fed on the level of maintenance and 36 heifers (12 animals of each genetic group) were kept in power system ad libitum with 30% (six of each group) or 50% (six of each group) dietary dry matter in concentrate. Heifers were randomly assigned to six treatments in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement (three genetic groups and two diets) with six replicates per treatment. Nine more heifers (three from each genetic group) were used to estimate the apparent digestibility coefficients of food in a parallel experiment. A model was fitted according to the protein retained as function of the gain of empty body weight (EBW) and retained energy (RE) to calculate the protein net requirements. To estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance the consumption of metabolizable protein was contrasted with EBW. The joint use of the equation net protein gain (NPG) = 197.40 × EBWg - 11.14 × RE is recommended to predict the protein net requirements for weight gain. Protein and metabolizable protein net requirements for maintenance are 1.07 and 3.88 g/EBW0.75/day, respectively. The use efficiency of metabolizable protein for gain of all genetic groups is 37.04%. <![CDATA[<b>Consumer perception of Brazilian traced beef </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300041&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to determine consumers understanding of beef traceability, identifying how consumers value this meat and traceability elements to be presented on retail shelves. The method used in this study was a survey through the internet applying the Sphinx software. The sample consisted of 417 consumers, mostly living in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Consumers are aware of certified beef, consider it important, but this is not a demand. As to traced beef, most consumers (62.4%) are in favor of mandatory traceability of beef cattle in Brazil, but 86.6% disagree with the destination of traced beef only to the foreign market. The majority of people are willing to pay more for traced beef and consider traceability a market opportunity, used as a differentiating tool. <![CDATA[<b>Development and application of a bioeconomic efficiency index for beef cattle production in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en An index was developed to estimate the bioeconomic efficiency of production systems, identifying alternative scenarios that could improve their efficiency, and building isoefficiency relations in beef cattle production systems in Rio Grande do Sul. The concept of return on investment was used to develop the indicator. Scenarios regarded as efficient showed values higher than 3. The bioeconomic efficiency index for beef cattle production in the theoretical reference scenario was considered inefficient. At least four modifications in the variables method made it a bioeconomically efficient activity. These circumstances were studied using sensitivity analyses, with theoretical changes in the scenarios by changing variables two by two, while the others were kept constant. In Rio Grande do Sul, alternatives that make the activity efficient were identified by changing productivity, production cost, land price and product price. Isoefficiency relationships were identified in other scenarios. The application of this indicator in other agricultural activities, as well as the design of bioefficiency studies including both environmental and social welfare characteristics are recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Technical efficiency of milk production in Minas Gerais</b>: <b>an application of quantile regression</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300043&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en O objetivo principal neste estudo foi analisar a influência de variáveis técnicas e econômicas sobre os índices de eficiência técnica de produtores de leite de Minas Gerais ao longo de pontos distintos da distribuição dos índices de eficiência utilizando-se a técnica de regressão quantílica. Os índices de eficiência técnica foram estimados com base em um modelo de fronteira estocástica utilizando-se dados de 875 produtores de leite do estado de Minas Gerais coletados no ano de 2005. Os principais resultados revelaram, na fronteira de produção, que possivelmente está havendo utilização extensiva do fator terra. De modo geral, a variável percentual de vacas em lactação foi a mais relevante na explicação da eficiência técnica em todos os quantis estudados, enquanto o percentual de mão-de-obra familiar utilizado foi importante para explicar apenas os menores níveis de eficiência. Além disso, foi encontrada diferença significativa entre os coeficientes estimados dos quantis em estudo, o que mostra que as variáveis explicativas não têm o mesmo impacto no aumento da eficiência em todos os pontos da distribuição.<hr/>The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of technical and economic variables on the indices of technical efficiency of milk from Minas Gerais throughout distinct points of distribution of the efficiency indices by the technique of quantile regression. The technical efficiency indices were estimated based on a stochastic frontier model, using data from 875 milk producers in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, collected in 2005. The main results from production frontier showed the extensive use of the land factor. Overall, the variable percentage of lactating cows was the more relevant in explaining technical efficiency in all analyzed quantiles, whereas the percentage of household labor was important to explain only the lower levels of efficiency. Moreover, significant differences between the estimated coefficients of the quantiles were found in the study, which showed that the explanatory variables do not have the same impactation on increasing the efficiency at all points of distribution. <![CDATA[<b>Production and quality of milk from Mantiqueira dairy cows feeding on Mombasa grass pasture and receiving different sources of roughage supplementation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300044&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Production and quality of milk from dairy cows grazing exclusively on Mombasa grass pasture, during the spring-summer period and fed roughage supplementations, during the autumn-winter, were evaluated in two consecutive years. The pasture of 11.4 ha was divided into 57 paddocks of 2,000 m² each, including three replications with 19 paddocks each. The pasture was managed with two occupation days and 36 resting days. During the spring-summer period, cows received only grass pasture. In the autumn-winter period, they had access to Mombasa grass pasture and received roughage supplementations (black oat pasture; sorghum silage or sugarcane + urea) and pasture every 28 days, alternately. The animals had access to mineral mix and water and received 500 g of concentrated in each of the two milking times. The experimental design used was for response to continuous flow in rotational trial, similar to the Latin square model. In the spring-summer period, the average milk production was 12.2±2.2 and 14.0±3.8 kg/cow per day; for the autumn-winter period, the milk production was 13.5±2.9 and 12.1±2.5 kg/cow per day in the black oat pasture; 11.8±2.5 and 10.9±2.3 kg/cow per day in the sorghum silage and 11.3±1.8 and 8.4±1.5 kg/cow per day in the sugarcane + urea, for 1st and 2nd years evaluated, respectively. The black oat was the roughage supplementation that yielded the highest average daily milk production. There were no differences in the milk chemical composition between roughage supplementations. <![CDATA[<b>Performance of beef heifers until calving receiving different levels of supplementation during the breeding season, at 14 months of age </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300045&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Avaliou-se o desempenho de novilhas de corte até o parto submetidas a diferentes níveis de suplementação em pastagem natural durante o primeiro período reprodutivo, dos 14 aos 17 meses. Foram utilizadas 98 novilhas contemporâneas do mesmo rebanho dos grupos genéticos Charolês, Nelore e suas cruzas, com peso médio de 255 kg. As novilhas foram distribuídas em três grupos: sem suplementação; com suplementação de 3,5 g/kg do peso corporal; com suplementação de 7,0 g/kg do peso corporal. O peso ao final e o ganho de peso médio diário durante o período de suplementação foi maior entre as novilhas do grupo com suplementação na proporção de 7,0 g/kg (322 e 0,701 kg) em comparação àquelas sob suplementação na proporção de 3,5 g/kg (302 e 0,464 kg) e sem suplementação (288 e 0,425 kg), que não diferiram entre si. O escore de condição corporal ao final da suplementação diferiu entre os três grupos com 3,07; 3,33 e 3,47 pontos, respectivamente, para novilhas sem suplementação; com suplementação na proporção de 3,5 g/kg do peso corporal; com suplementação na proporção de 7,0 g/kg do peso corporal. A porcentagem de prenhez foi influenciada significativamente pelo nível de suplementação, sendo de 35,0; 34,2 e 70,0%, respectivamente. Os dois grupos sob suplementação tiveram maior taxa de concepção na metade inicial do período reprodutivo. A média de idade das novilhas ao parto foi de 785, 778 e 761 dias, respectivamente. O ganho médio diário e a condição corporal foram semelhantes entre as novilhas dos dois grupos genéticos, porém o peso ao início e ao final do período de suplementação foi maior nas filhas de touros charoleses em relação às de touros nelores, refletindo-se nas taxas de manifestação de estro (68,8 vs. 38,2) e de prenhez (60,9 vs. 26,5). As características relacionadas ao parto das novilhas não foram influenciadas pelos níveis de suplementação durante o período reprodutivo. A suplementação durante o período de acasalamento aumenta o desempenho reprodutivo de novilhas aos 14 meses de idade.<hr/>The objective was to evaluate the performance of beef heifers until calving receiving different levels of supplementation on native pasture during the first breeding season, from 14 to 17 months: no supplementation; 3.5 g/kg of body weight; and 7.0 g/kg of body weight. Ninety-eight Charolais, Nellore and their crosses, with average initial weight of 255 kg, were used. Weight at the end and average daily weight gain during the supplementation period were higher for 7.0 g/kg of supplement heifers (322 and 0.701 kg) compared to those with 3.5 g/kg of supplement (302 and 0.464 kg) and heifers without supplementation (288 and 0.425 kg), which did not differ from each other. Body condition score at the end of the supplementation was different between the three treatments, being 3.03, 3.33 and 3.47 points for heifers without supplementation; 3.5 g/kg of body weight; and 7.0 g/kg of body weight, respectively. Pregnancy rate was significantly affected by supplementation level, being 35.0, 34.2 and 70.0%, respectively. Heifers of the two supplementation treatments had higher conception rate at the first half of the reproductive period. Average heifer ages at calving were of 785, 778 and 761 days, respectively. The average daily weight and body condition of the heifers of the two genetic groups were similar; however, the initial and final weight of the supplementation period was higher for Charolais bulls daughters, compared with Nellore bulls daughters, reflecting on the heat (68.8 vs. 38.2%) and pregnancy (60.9 vs. 26.5%) rates. Characteristics related to calving were not affected by the supplementation levels during the reproductive period. The supplementation during the first breeding season increases reproductive performance of heifers at 14 months of age. <![CDATA[<b>Creatinine excretion and relationship with body weight of Nellore cattle</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300046&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to estimate the urinary creatinine excretion by the shrunk body weight (SBW). In experiment I, 32 Nellore bulls with initial body weight of 259±24.9 kg and 14±1 months-old were used. The group was divided in four animals to maintenance and twenty eight animals feeding ad libitum and separated in four groups; each group was slaughtered at different times of feedlot (42, 84, 126 and 168 days). The diet was composed of corn silage and concentrate (55:45). Before the slaughters, the total urinary collection was realized during three days. A database of creatinine excretion was collected from other five studies that had been conducted with Nellore cattle. In all the studies, the total urinary collection was realized during at least three days. At the end of each collection, the animals were weighted. Urinary creatinine excretion (UCE) was related with the shrunk body weight and it can be estimated by the equation: UCE (g/day) = 0.0345 × SBW0.9491. <![CDATA[<b>Measurement of rib-eye area by the method of digital images </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300047&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study evaluated the correlation between measurements of rib-eye areas of sheep carcasses by traditional methods and those obtained by scanned images. Thirty pictures of the longissimus dorsi muscle of sheep carcasses were drawn on tracing paper and analyzed for muscle area (rib-eye) using four methods: scanned images, which utilizes the software DDA -Determinador Digital de Áreas (Digital Area Determiner); measurements "A" and "B" applied to the equation: (A/2 × B/2) × π; Planimeter method and rib-eye grid method. All rib-eye area figures were measured five times by each method, setting up a completely randomized experiment with four treatments and five replicates. Data were submitted to analysis of variance and means were compared by the Tukey test, Pearson correlation and linear regression by the SAS software. Easiness and difficulties perceived by the evaluators in the performance of each method were also recorded. The method of scanned images analyzed by the software DDA showed high correlation with the methods traditionally used, and can be considered feasible to determine carcass rib-eye area, with the advantage of being easy to operate, flexible, and economical. <![CDATA[<b>Probiotic actions of <i>Bacillus cereus </i>var. <i>toyoi</i> and <i>Saccharomyces boulardii </i>in silver catfish (<i>Rhamdia quelen</i>) larvae culture </b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-35982012000300048&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of Bacillus cereus var. toyoi and Saccharomyces boulardii as probiotics to improve Rhamdia quelen culture. Six hundred larvaes (0.16±0.07 g) were divided in three replicate tanks (25-L recirculation, 20 ºC, photoperiod of 12 h light/12 h darkness) per treatment and were randomly assigned to the following treatments: Bacillus cereus var. toyoi; Saccharomyces boulardii; B. toyoi and S. boulardii; and control (without probiotic addition) for a period of 30 days. The fish were fed five times daily (56% crude protein - Supra alevino inicial®) and the probiotics were applied in water once a day. The doses of probiotics were <img src="/img/revistas/rbz/v41n3/aproximadamente.jpg">5 × 10(8) and <img src="/img/revistas/rbz/v41n3/aproximadamente.jpg">2 × 10(9) CFU (colony forming unit)/mL for B. cereus var. toyoi and S. boulardii, respectively. Both probiotics have an inhibitory effect in vitro against Vibrio carchariae and are able to grow in media prepared with fishery water; however, no effect was observed on growth parameters when they were administered to Rhamdia quelen larvae.