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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290

Abstract

PAULINO, Pedro Veiga Rodrigues et al. Nutritional requirements of Zebu cattle: protein. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2004, vol.33, n.3, pp. 759-769. ISSN 1806-9290.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982004000300025.

A trial involving nineteen zebu steers with initial live weight of 270 kg was conducted with the objective of determining their protein requirements. Four steers were slaughtered at the beginning of the trial, compounding the reference group, three were fed at maintenance level and the remaining were uniformly allotted to a complete randomized design, of three treatments, with different levels of concentrate in the diets (5, 35, 65 %, in the total dry matter basis). As roughage was used Brachiaria brizantha and Cynodon sp. haylage. The diets were isonitrogenous and the animals were fed ad libitum. The protein content retained in the body was estimated by a regression equation obtained between the logarithm of the body content of protein and the logarithm of the empty body weight (EBW). The net requirements of protein for 1 kg of empty body gain (EBG) were determined as the derivative of the equation of prediction of protein body content. The protein requirements for gain decreased as the live weight increased. The protein requirement found for an animal of 400 kg of live weight was 106.84 g/kg EBW, while for an animal of 200 kg, was 129.01 g/kg EBW. Considering a steer of 400 kg of live weight, the estimated metabolizable requirements of protein for maintenance (MPm) and gain (MPg) were, respectively, 339.88 and 217.14 g/kg LW. For this type of animal, the daily protein requirements in terms of degradable and undegradable protein were, respectively, 830.86 and 4.46 g. The requirement of crude protein was 835.32 g/d.

Keywords : requirements; protein; zebu cattle.

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