Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
versão On-line ISSN 1806-9290
DIFANTE, Gelson dos Santos et al. Ingestive behaviour, herbage intake and grazing efficiency of beef cattle steers on Tanzania guineagrass subjected to rotational stocking managements. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.6, pp. 1001-1008. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982009000600005.
The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the ingestive behaviour, herbage intake and grazing efficiency of beef cattle steers grazing on Panicum maximum Jacq. cv. Tanzania subjected to different rotational stocking intensities. Treatments corresponded to two post-grazing conditions (residues of 25 and 50 cm) associated with a pre-grazing condition of 95% sward canopy light interception during regrowth (LI). The grazing time increased linearly with the duration of the occupation period (475 to 630 minutes/day). On paddocks grazed down to a residue of 25 cm, the bite rate increased linearly along the occupation period, with an average of 42.5 bites/minute. On paddocks grazed down to a residue of 50 cm, the bite rate was stable and equal to 39 bites/minute. There was no difference in herbage intake between grazing intensities. However, grazing at 25 cm residue resulted in greater herbage removal (68.0 vs. 45.6%) and greater grazing efficiency (90.4 vs. 49.8%) than grazing at 50 cm residue. Post-grazing residues of Tanzania guineagrass under rotational stocking management may be set at either 25 or 50 cm, since the herbage intake was not affected within this grazing intensity range. However, herbage removal and grazing efficiency were reduced with the 50 cm post-grazing height and grazing time increased with long occupation periods.
Palavras-chave : grazing management; n-alkanes; Panicum maximum; post-grazing height.