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Ciência Rural

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Abstract

ORTOLANI, Enrico Lippi. SULPHUR DEFICIENCY IN DAIRY CALVES REARED ON PASTURE OF Brachiaria decumbens. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2001, vol.31, n.2, pp. 257-261. ISSN 0103-8478.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782001000200011.

The clinical picture of sulphur (S) deficiency is described by the first time in Brazilian dairy calves. Twelve crossbred six-month-old weaned dairy calves, reared on pasture of S-deficient Brachiaria decumbens, were used. The calves were randomly assigned in two groups of six calves each to verify the influence of S supplementation on some clinical and serum biochemical variables. All animals were fed a basal-supplement mix containing macro and microlements, urea and ground corn grain added (41gS/kg) or not of S (elemental S; 1g S/kg), for six months. At the end of the experiment, the S-supplemented calves had higher mean body weight (p < 0.01), body condition score (p < 0.016), serum inorganic sulphate concentration (p < 0.001) and serum albumin concentration (p < 0.01) than the S-deficient calves. The unsupplemented dairy calves exhibited loss of body condition, retarded growth, weight loss and slight apathy.

Keywords : sulphur; sulphur deficiency; calves; Brachiaria decumbens; Brazil.

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