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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


SOARES, João Paulo Guimarães et al. Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) fertilized with two levels of nitrogen, under grazing, voluntary intake and milk production. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 1999, vol.28, n.4, pp.889-897. ISSN 1806-9290.

The milk production, the dry matter intake (DMI) and the NDF passage rate in the gastrointestinal tract in four seasons (July, October, January and March), of crossbred cows, under grazing of elephant grass, submitted to two levels of nitrogen (300 and 700 kg N/ha•year) were estimated. The rotation grazing with three days of occupation and 30 days of resting, using 36 crossbred Holstein Zebu milking cows, in a stocking rate of 6 cows/ha, was used. The estimates of the intake and passage rate were determined only in 24 animals. For the extrusa collection, two esophageal fistulated cows were used. The intake was estimated using the fecal output: feed indigestibility ratio. The fecal output was estimated using the NDF of the extrusa marked with sodium dichromium fed in an unique dose. The total dry matter intake was not affected by the N levels and the year seasons, with average values of 10.9 and 10.5 kg DM/cow, for the levels of 300 and 700kg N/ha•year, respectively. However, the DM intake of the elephant grass was affected by N levels and year seasons, with reported values of 6.55 e 5.63 kg/cow•day, for the above described N levels, respectively. The elephant grass contributed with 26% of the total DM intake during the dry season (July/October) and its contribution increased up to 84% in the rainy season (January/March). The milk production was not affected by N levels, with reported average production of 11.6 and 12.3 kg/cow•day, for the levels of 300 and 700 kg N/ha•year, respectively.

Keywords : elephant grass; voluntary intake; mordent-chromium; nitrogen fertilization; animal production; fecal output; passage rate.

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