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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia
Print version ISSN 0102-0935
LIMA, J.B.M.P. et al. Supplementation of Nelore steers under grazing during the rainy/dry transition period. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.64, n.4, pp. 943-952. ISSN 0102-0935. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-09352012000400022.
The effects of proteic supplementation on performance and forage dry matter intake of steers grazing on Brachiaria grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Piatã) during the rainy/dry transition period were evaluated. Twenty Nelore steers with an average body weight (BW) of 260kg, were assigned in a split plot design. The treatments were: mineral salt plus urea offered ad libitum (control); proteic supplement offered at 0.2% BW, proteic-energetic supplement offered at 0.3% BW and proteic-energetic supplement offered at 0.5% BW. The supplementation increased total dry matter intake. The average intake of supplements was 0.167; 0.597; 0.865 and 1.469kg/animal/day and the average daily gain (ADG) was 0.686; 0.761; 0.719 and 0.850kg/animal/day, for control, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5% BW, respectively. It was verified that all strategies of supplementation are economically viable and similar in performance, under high herbage availability conditions. It is suggested that proteic supplementation begin during the rainy/dry transition period, for better animal performance and economic results.
Keywords : beef cattle; forage intake; performance; pasture supplementation.