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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

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


PILAU, Alcides  and  LOBATO, José Fernando Piva. Rearing beef heifers with supplementation in the fall and cultivated pasture in the winter. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.6, pp.2388-2396. ISSN 1516-3598.

This trial evaluated the effects of different levels of supplementation on the growth of weaned female beef calves grazing native pasture during the fall. Development of these same animals grazing pastures of black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb) and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam) during the winter were also investigated. One hundred-eighteen female calves averaging seven months of age from three distinct herds: H1 and H2 (Aberdeen Angus animals) and H3 (crossbred Aberdeen Angus animals) were used. Calves grazing the native pasture were supplemented with a commercial concentrate as follows: 0.7, 1.0 or 1.3% of body weight (BW). During the winter, animals were moved to pastures of black oat and annual ryegrass and were all maintained in the same group. The following measurements were taken: BW, body condition (BC), average daily gain (ADG), body condition gain (BCG), and relative growth (RG). No significant supplementation levels ´ herd interactions were detected. Animals grazing native pasture supplemented with 1.3% BW as concentrate had greater ADG (0.405 kg) than those supplemented with 0.7% BW (0.300 kg). The ADG of animals grazing black oat and annual ryegrass did not differ and averaged 0.820 kg. Within the three herds, animals from H3 had greater BW and BC than those from H1 and H2. Calves from H1 with lower initial BW and BC showed compensatory growth and had similar BW and BC compared to H2 calves at the end of the winter period. H1 calves had higher RG (77.1% of BW and 32.4% of BC) than H2 and H3 calves, which averaged 57.1% of BW and 14.7% of BC. Initial BW and BC were highly correlated (r=0.811) but both were not correlated with ADG during rearing. The final BW and BC were affected by initial BW and ADG during rearing. Calves with the greatest BW at weaning were not always the heaviest animals at one year of age.

Keywords : body condition; native pasture; performance; relative growth.

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