This trial was conducted aiming to evaluate the effects of Brachiaria brizantha vegetative seed harvest residues hay treated with anhydrous ammonia (NH3) or urea, and protein sources on the steers performance, and carcass quality. Twenty-four male beef cattle were (12 F1 Nellore X Aberdeen Angus and 12 F1 Nellore X Red Angus), distributed in four treatments, with six replications. Animal crossbreed type and initial body weight were considered blocks. The diets were: Untreated hay supplemented with non-protein nitrogen (UHNPN); untreated hay supplemented with cottonseed meal (UHCM), hay treated with 5% urea (HTU), hay treated with 3% anhydrous ammonia (HTA) of DM%. Diets were formulated to be isoproteic and isoenergetic. The initial body weight (kg), daily DM intake (kg), and percentage of body weight (% BW) did not differ among treatments, and the average values observed were 422.6 kg, 10.24 kg, and 2.16% BW, respectively. Animals fed with HTA showed better daily weight gain, feed efficiency, 1.336 kg/day, and 7.78 kg/kg of weight gain, followed by the UHCM, 1.161 kg/day, and 8.98 kg/kg, respectively. Animals of the HTA showed highest NDF, ADF and cellulose intake. Carcass fat thickness was highest on the HTA animals, 6.3 mm.
ammoniation; animal performance; carcass characteristics; chemical treatment; forage quality; haymaking