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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


SALES, Maykel Franklin Lima et al. Protein requirements of pasture supplemented beef cattle. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.39, n.9, pp.2066-2072. ISSN 1806-9290.

The objective of this trial was to determine the protein requirements of Zebu bovines on Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. pasture supplemented with concentrate. It was used 28 non-castrated Zebu steers at an average age of 7 months and 180 kg average weight. Eight baseline animals were slaughtered to determine the initial body composition. The 20 remaining animals were divided in five plots of four animals, in a completely randomized design so each group received one out of the five nutritional plans: maintenance; mineral mix; and supplementation at the levels of 0.75; 1.50 and 2.25 kg/animal/day. In all animals, the right half carcass was dissected in muscle, fat and bones and all the body components were weighed to determine the empty body weight and empty body composition. These data allowed the calculations of net requirements forweight gain in several ranges of the body weight of the animals. Contents of protein withheld in the bodies of the animals were regressed in function of empty body gain and withheld energy. The requirements of total metabolizable protein for an animal with 350 kg and average daily weight gain of 1.0 kg, were 593.59 g/day. That same animal, consuming 7.40 kg of DM/day requires diets with 12.97% of CP in total DM. The net requirement of protein for weight gain of non-castrated grazing Zebu bulls with up to 350 kg of body weight decreases as the body weight or retained energy increases, and it can be estimated by the equation: PR (g/day) = -26.2946 + 247.4853 x GPCVZ - 24.8436 x ER.

Keywords : nutrient requirements; protein; supplementation; zebu cattle.

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