The effects of compensatory growth and ionophore supplementation of diet of dairy heifer on digestive parameters and protein microbial production were evaluated. Twenty five-month-old Brown-Swiss heifers averaging 200kg b.w. were used. The treatments were arranged in a factorial design (2x2x2) with the animals randomly allocated to each of the combinations. Factor 1 was based on the feeding systems (conventional and compensatory growth), factor 2 on ionophore supplementation option (200mg of monensin/animal/day or not) and factor 3, on the feeding periods (P1 and P2). The diet supplemented with ionophore increased the total digestibility coefficients of dry matter, organic matter, total carbohydrates, and neutral detergent fiber. No effect of feeding systems, ionophore supplementation, or feeding periods based on microbial production was oberved. The microbial efficiency (g of microbial crude protein/kg of NDT intake) during the restriction period was higher than the re-feeding period.
dairy heifer; monensin; microbial production; realimentation; restriction