Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
CRUZ, Rossini Sôffa da et al. Feeding behaviors of feedlot bulls fed concentrate levels and babassu mesocarp meal. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.7, pp. 1727-1736. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000700024.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the feeding behavior of feedlot Nellore bulls fed two levels of concentrate (650 and 710 g/kg dry matter) with or without the inclusion of 350 g babassu mesocarp meal/kg dry matter in the concentrate. Twenty-eight animals at 18 months of initial age and 356.66±19.25 kg initial body weight were used. A completely randomized design was used with treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Increase in concentrate level from 650 to 710 g/kg dry matter did not change the feeding time, of 194.41 and 189.64 minutes/day, respectively. The inclusion of 350 g babassu mesocarp meal/kg dry matter in the concentrate increased the feeding time from 173.92 to 210.12 minutes/day, ensuring similar energy intake in relation to the diets without this byproduct. Rumination time was not changed by increasing the concentrate level in diets with 350 g babassu mesocarp meal/kg dry matter in the concentrate, with average values of 420.48 and 398.09 minutes/day for the levels of 650 and 710 g concentrate/kg dry matter, respectively. However, in diets without babassu mesocarp meal, the rumination time was reduced by the concentrate level, with average values of 452.14 and 409.76 minutes/day for 650 and 710 g of concentrate/kg dry matter, respectively. Time spent on other activities increased from 810.23 to 860.00 minutes/day with increase in the concentrate level, which was not changed in the diets containing babassu mesocarp meal. The inclusion of babassu mesocarp meal in the diet altered the feeding behavior of feedlot cattle, due to the need to increase the feeding time to maintain the energy intake.
Keywords : biofuels; feed efficiency; feeding time; idle; rumination.