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Protected fat supplementation for early weaned beef cows maintained in nature pasture

The objective of this work was to evaluate the productive and reproductive performance of beef cows, as well as the performance of their calves according to the following dietary treatments: PRE: supplemented with protected fat (PF) during 45 days prepartum; PREPOS: supplemented with PF during 45 days prepartum and 63 days postpartum; POS: supplemented with PF during 63 days postpartum; PN: without supplementation. The productive performance of cows was not influenced by feed management (P>0.05), except for body condition score (BCS), which was lower for PRE and PREPOS cows at the end of mating season, with the latter cows having similar BCS POS and PN. The calving interval (CI) was shorter for cows supplemented in PREPOS - 376 days -, and did not differ in cows maintained in PN - 383 days. Supplemented PREPOS cows weaned 4.4% more pounds of calf per 100kg of cow at calving - 22.6kg - than the PRE and POS cows - 21.6kg and 21.6kg, respectively - and 8,4% more pounds of calf per 100 of cow at calving than the cows maintained in native pasture - 20.7kg. The fat protected supplementation during pre and/or postpartum periods did not affect the performance of cows and calves.

beef cattle; reproductive efficiency; birth weight; parturition weigth; milk production

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil