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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

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


OBEID, José Antônio et al. Crude protein levels in beef cattle diets: intake, digestibility and performance. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.6, pp.2434-2442. ISSN 1516-3598.

The objective of this trial was to investigate intake, apparent total tract digestibility of nutrients, passage rate, average daily gain, carcass yield, and feed conversion in beef cattle fed diets containing four levels of CP (9, 11, 13 and 15%) and forage:concentrate ratio of 60:40. Twenty-four young Zebu bulls were assigned to a completely randomized block design with four treatments and six replications. The experiment lasted 84 days with 15 days for diet adaptation and three periods of 28 days for data and sample collection. Indigestible acid detergent fiber (IADF; ADF remaining after 144 hours of in situ incubation) was used to estimate fecal output. Intakes of DM, OM, NDF, NFC and TDN and estimated passage rate (Kp) all were not affected by the increasing levels of CP in the diet. Conversely, intakes of both CP and EE increased linearly when the dietary CP level varied from 9 to 15%. No significant differences among treatments were observed for the apparent total tract digestibilities of DM, OM, EE, and NDF. However, digestibility of CP increased linearly with the incremental levels of CP in the diet. Significant quadratic effects were observed for the average daily body weight gain and feed conversion by increasing dietary CP but no diet effect was found for carcass yield. It can be concluded that diets with 12% of CP supplied the requirements of CP and RDP of finishing young Zebu bulls with the lowest production cost.

Keywords : corn silage; feedlot; non-fiber carbohydrate; neutral detergent fiber; urea; whole soybean.

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