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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
DIFANTE, Gelson dos Santos et al. Performance and feed conversion of beef cattle steers on Tanzania guineagrass under two grazing intensities and rotational stocking. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.39, n.1, pp. 33-41. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982010000100005.
The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the nutritive value, animal performance and feed conversion of beef cattle steers grazing Panicum maximum Jacq. cv. Tanzania pasture subjected to intensities of rotational grazing. Treatments corresponded to two grazing intensities (post-grazing residues of 25 and 50 cm) associated with a grazing interval corresponding to the time necessary for a 95% canopy light interception (LI) condition during regrowth. A randomized complete block design was used, with two replications. The pre-grazing sward height, grazing interval, weight gain, stocking rate and weight gain per unit area were assessed. Pastures managed with 50 cm residue post-grazing condition resulted in a larger number of grazing cycles than the 25 cm residue. The highest daily average weight gain was observed in the pastures managed with 50 cm residue (801 g/.day) compared to those managed with 25cm residue (664 g/day). However, the 25 cm post-grazing condition allowed for higher of stocking rate values, resulting in 601 and 559 kg weight gain/ha for the 25 and 50 cm conditions, respectively. Grazing management with a post-grazing residue of 25 cm result in higher weight gain per unit area and a more stable pattern of animal performance while management with 50 cm residue result in higher individual performance and a larger number of grazing cycles.
Keywords : average daily gain; beef cattle; grazing management; post-grazing residue; stocking rate; weight gain per unit area.