Nutritional Evaluation of Young Bulls on Tropical Pasture Receiving Supplements with Different Protein:Carbohydrate Ratios

  • Valente, Eriton Egidio Lisboa ;
  • Paulino, M.F. ;
  • Barros, L.V. ;
  • Almeida, D.M. ;
  • Martins, L.S. ;
  • Cabral, C.H.A.
  • Received : 2014.02.05
  • Accepted : 2014.04.28
  • Published : 2014.10.01


The objective of this work was to evaluate the nutritional parameters of young bulls supplemented with different ratios of protein: carbohydrate on tropical pastures from 4 until 18 months old. Fifty-five non-castrated beef calves ($138.3{\pm}3.4kg$, 90 to 150 d of age) were used. The calves (young bulls) were subjected to a 430-d experimental period encompassing 4 seasons. The treatments were as follows: control, only mineral mixture; HPHC, high protein and high carbohydrate supplement; HPLC, high protein and low carbohydrate supplement; LPHC, low protein and high carbohydrate supplement; and LPLC, low protein and low carbohydrate supplement. The amount of supplement was adjusted every 28 d. Dry matter (DM) intake was higher in the dry-to-rainy transition and rainy seasons for all nutritional plans. Non-supplemented animals had lower intakes of DM and total digestible nutrients (TDN) than supplemented young bulls in all seasons. Although differences in DM intake were not observed between supplemented animals, the supplements with high carbohydrate (HPHC and LPHC) had lower forage intake during suckling (rainy-to-dry transition season) and in the rainy season. However, the HPHC treatment animals had higher intake and digestibility of neutral detergent fiber. It can be concluded that supplementation with high protein levels (supplying 50% of the crude protein requirement) provide the best nutritional parameters for grazing young bulls in most seasons, increasing intake and digestibility of diet, and these effects are more intense when associated with high carbohydrate levels level (supplying 30% TDN requirement).




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