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Scientia Agricola

Print version ISSN 0103-9016On-line version ISSN 1678-992X

Abstract

SANTOS, Viviane Rodrigues Ventolin dos et al. Dry matter intake, performance and carcass characteristics of hair sheep reared under different grazing systems. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2017, vol.74, n.6, pp.436-442. ISSN 0103-9016.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-992x-2016-0290.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of three different grazing systems: isolated, alternate and simultaneous, on feed intake, performance and carcass characteristics of sheep. About 5.2 ha area of Tanzania grass (Panicum maximun Jacq cultivate Tanzania) was divided into 13 paddocks. This area was used as a stocking rate of two animal units (AU) per ha for 7 days’ occupation and 21 days rest. A total number of 58 animals were used consisting of 12 heifers and 30 Santa Ines lambs with the addition of 16 adult ewes that were used to stabilize grazing pressure in the isolated system. The sheep were fed on 200 g per head per day of concentrate and cattle 2 kg per head per day. The parameters determined were the following: weekly weight (WW), total live weight gain (LWG) and mean daily weight gain (MDW). Also dry matter intake was estimated 84 days after the start of the experiment using external indicators (Purified and Enriched Lignin) in addition to carcass traits and composition which were also estimated. The result obtained for carcass composition revealed that the muscle:bone ratio and bone percentage were better in the alternate system. Moreover, the simultaneous and isolated systems showed higher lamb performance than the alternate system, while there was no effect on dry matter intake. Furthermore, there was no difference of the different systems on carcass traits and feed intake of sheep. Nevertheless, the simultaneous grazing system showed better sheep performance than the alternate grazing system.

Keywords : carcass quality; carcass weight; simultaneous grazing systems; Tanzania grazing area.

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