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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
versión On-line ISSN 1806-9290
ROCHA, Anilza Andréia da et al. Performance and nutritional evaluation of beef cattle raised on pasture, castrated at different ages, with and without supplementation. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.4, pp.1016-1024. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000400026.
The objective of this study was to evaluate performance and nutritional traits of beef cattle raised on pastures, castrated at different ages, with and without supplementation. Forty-four crossbred young bulls with predominance of Zebu breed at initial average age of 120±30 days were used in the experiment. Animals were distributed in a completely randomized design in a factorial arrangement with four ages of castration and two supplementation systems. The animals were distributed into four groups and placed on Brachiaria decumbens Stapf pastures, where they were fed concentrate supplementation or mineral salt ad libtum (control). Animals were castrated at 120, 240 and 360 days of age with average body weight of 115, 175 and 276 kg, castrated or not, in each supplementation group. Concentrate supplement composition and the amount supplied to the animals varied according to the time of the year and development phase of the animals. Trials were carried out to evaluate nutritional variables in each of the following phases: suckling, growth in the dry season and growth in the dry/rainy transition season. Concentrate supplementation improved the use of pasture, although it may have caused substitutive effect in all seasons evaluated. Castration of the animals before the dry season impaired animal development until the following dry/rainy transition season, especially when carried out during weaning. Concentrate supply may reduce some effects of this stress.
Palabras clave : castration; digestibility; intake; supplementation.