Revista Ciência Agronômica
versão On-line ISSN 1806-6690
SILVA, Alessandra et al. Productive and reproductive performance of heifers fed different levels of urea in the diet. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2010, vol.41, n.4, pp. 677-685. ISSN 1806-6690. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-66902010000400023.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the nutrient intake, blood parameters, follicular diameter and performance of pre-puberty crossbred heifers fed isoproteic diets (14.1%CP) containing 0.0; 0.44; 0.88 and 1.32% urea on the total dry matter (DM) of the diet, with a 77:23 roughage:concentrate ratio. Twenty-four 18- month old heifers (Holstein x Zebu), 277.9 kg mean live weight (LW) were used, distributed in four treatments and six replications in a randomized complete design. The following were evaluated: dry matter intake (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), ether extract (EE), hemicellulose (HEM), plasmatic ureic nitrogen (PUN), plasmatic glucose, plasmatic total cholesterol, follicular diameter and daily weight gain (DWG). No influence of the urea levels in the diet was observed on NDF and HEM intake. A maximum intake was obtained of DM (8.75 kg day-1), CP (0.88 kg day-1), ADF (2.5 kg day-1) and EE (0.17 kg day-1) respectively for the levels 0.7, 0.8, 0.7 and 0.7% urea in total DM. The 0.6%; 0.77% and 0.6% urea levels in diet were the critical points for obtaining maximum response for the PUN (10.96 mg dL-1) and plasmatic glucose(84.97 mg dL-1) concentrations and, for follicular diameter (11.08 mm) on the 40th; 24th and 31st day, respectively. The plasmatic total cholesterol concentration and DWG were not influenced by the urea added to the diet, with averages of 119.39 mg dL-1 and 1.66 kg day-1, respectively. It was concluded that urea can be added up to 1.32% on the total DM of the diet for pre-puberty crossbred heifers.
Palavras-chave : Cholesterol; Feedlot; Plasmatic ureic nitrogen; Weight gain.