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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

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


PAIXAO, Mônica Lopes et al. Urea in diets of steers: intake, digestibility, performance, carcass traits and microbial yield. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.6, pp.2451-2460. ISSN 1516-3598.

The objective of this trial was to evaluate the effects of replacing soybean meal with urea on performance, carcass traits, and intake and digestibility of nutrients in steers. Microbial protein synthesis and efficiency were also measured in this trial. Sixteen steers averaging 286 kg of BW were assigned to a completely randomized design with a 2x2 factorial approach: two protein sources (soybean meal and urea) and two levels of concentrate (0.75 and 1.25% of BW); four replicates per treatment were used and the experiment lasted 63 days. Diets were isonitrogenous (12% of CP) with the forage portion composed by elephant grass silage and sorghum silage in the ratio of 80:20. Efficiency of microbial protein synthesis was not affected by treatments. Intakes of DM, OM, EE, NDF, NFC and TDN and apparent total tract digestibilities of DM, OM, EE and TDN all increased linearly when the proportion of concentrate was increased in the diet. Except for EE, the protein sources did not affect the intake and digestibility of all remaining nutrients. Feeding high concentrate diets to steers increased energy intake and improved performance. Replacing soybean meal with urea did not change the average daily gain of steers with expected BW gain varying from 1.1 to 1.2 kg/day.

Keywords : concentrate; feedlot; non-protein nitrogen; performance; steers.

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