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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


MORENZ, Mirton José Frota et al. Use of chromium oxide or n-alkanes to estimate forage intake of grazing lactating cows. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.4, pp.1535-1542. ISSN 1806-9290.

Chromium oxide and n-alkanes (C31:C32 and C33:C32) were used to estimate the dry matter intake (DMI) of lactating Holstein x Zebu cows grazing elephant grass. Extrusa samples of forage were obtained from a cow with esophageal fistula. Fecal grab collection was done twice a day at 7:30 and 14:30 h during 9 days in each experimental period. A randomized complete block design with a split-plot arrangement was used. Both pairs of n-alkanes estimated similar DMI, independent of time of fecal collection, suggesting that one single daily collection of feces may be adequate. Independent of the fecal collection schedule, DMI estimated by Cr2O3 or n-alkanes differed significantly by the Tukey test. Dry matter intake estimated by Cr2O3 was closer to that predicted according to the available forage (2.6% body weight, BW) and the NRC (2001) model (2.7% BW). Therefore, DMI estimated by Cr2O3 is likely to be more accurate than n-alkanes. In addition, Cr2O3 is inexpensive and easy to analyze.

Keywords : dry matter intake; indirect methods; Pennisetum purpureum; rotational grazing.

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