Supplementation for beef cattle on Marandu grass pastures with different herbage allowances

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De Oliveira, A. P. [UNESP]
Casagrande, D. R.
Bertipaglia, L. M.A.
Barbero, R. P. [UNESP]
Berchielli, T. T. [UNESP]
Ruggieri, A. C. [UNESP]
Reis, R. A. [UNESP]

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of beef heifers on Stapf. cv. Marandu grass pastures that were managed at three herbage allowances under continuous grazing with a variable stocking rate and were provided with mineral mix supplement or supplements with energy and protein. Seventy-two test heifers and 48 put-and-take heifers were used in a randomised design in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement [three herbage allowances (1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 kg of green dry matter/kg of bodyweight, and two supplementation levels (mineral mix or 0.3% bodyweight of a mineral-protein-energy supplement)], with two replicates per treatment (paddocks), to maintain the pre-established forage allowance. No significant difference was observed in the gain per hectare as a function of the herbage allowance, but 2.5 kg green dry matter/kg bodyweight provided the greatest average daily gain of bodyweight (0.605 kg/animal/day). The energy/protein supplementation provided the greatest average daily gain compared with animals fed only the mineral mix. The supplements in the diet of beef heifers fed at 0.3% of bodyweight increased bodyweight gains without compromising the gain per hectare at different herbage allowances.



continuous grazing, heifers, performance, productivity

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Animal Production Science, v. 56, n. 1, p. 123-129, 2016.