Feedlot performance of steers and young steers of different genetic groups

The objective of the experiment was to evaluate the performance of males of two categories, steers and young steers, from two genetic groups, 5/8Charolais (CH) 3/8Nelore (NE) and 5/8NE 3/8CH. The average age of the animals at the beginning of the experimental period was 22.8 months for steers and 15.2 months for young steers. The animals were feedlot finished to reach slaughter weight of 430 kg, previously established. The performance characteristics evaluated between categories were compared in two manners: (=FW): until young steers reach final weight similar to steers; and (=FBCS): until young steers reach final body condition score (FBCS) similar to steers. The diet, roughage:concentrate ratio of 60:40 (dry matter basis), contained 10.25% crude protein and 3.18 Mcal of digestible energy/kg of dry matter. The experimental design used was the completely randomized, in a 2 x 2 (two categories x two genetic groups) factorial scheme. Steers showed higher average daily weight gain (ADG) (1.94 kg) in relation to young steers (=FW) (1.52 kg) and (=FBCS) (1.53 kg). Similar behavior was verified for dry matter intake (DMI) and digestible energy intake, expressed per unit of metabolic weight, net energy intake for maintenance (NEm) and for gain (NEg). When NEm was adjusted for 100 kg of body weight, steers showed lower intakes in relation to young steers (=FW) and (=FBCS). The FBCS was higher in young steers (=FW) (4.35 vs. 3.72 points) in relation to steers. The feed and energy conversion showed higher values for steers when compared to young steers (=FBCS). No significant difference was observed between genetic groups for ADG. However, 5/8NE 3/8CH animals showed higher FBCS and DMI adjusted for body weight and per unit of metabolic weight.

Bos indicus; Bos taurus; Canchim; compensatory gain; crossbreeding; feed conversion

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