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Nutritional Performance of Cattle Grazing during Rainy Season with Nitrogen and Starch Supplementation

  • Lazzarini, Isis (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Detmann, Edenio (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Filho, Sebastiao de Campos Valadares (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Paulino, Mario Fonseca (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Batista, Erick Darlisson (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Rufino, Luana Marta de Almeida (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Reis, William Lima Santiago dos (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa) ;
  • Franco, Marcia de Oliveira (Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Vicosa)
  • Received : 2015.06.16
  • Accepted : 2015.11.10
  • Published : 2016.08.01

Abstract

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of supplementation with nitrogen and starch on the nutritional performance of grazing cattle during the rainy season. Five rumen cannulated Nellore steers, averaging 211 kg of body weight (BW), were used. Animals grazed on five signal grass paddocks. Five treatments were evaluated: control (forage only), ruminal supplementation with nitrogen at 1 g of crude protein (CP)/kg BW, ruminal supplementation with starch at 2.5 g/kg BW, supplementation with nitrogen (1 g CP/kg BW) and starch (2.5 g/kg BW), and supplementation with nitrogen (1 g CP/kg BW) and a mixture of corn starch and nitrogenous compounds (2.5 g/kg BW), thereby resulting in an energy part of the supplement with 150 g CP/kg of dry matter (DM). This last treatment was considered an additional treatment. The experiment was carried out according to a $5{\times}5$ Latin square design following a $2{\times}2+1$ factorial arrangement (with or without nitrogen, with or without starch, and the additional treatment). Nitrogen supplementation did not affect (p>0.10) forage intake. Starch supplementation increased (p<0.10) total intake but did not affect (p<0.10) forage intake. There was an interaction between nitrogen and starch (p<0.10) for organic matter digestibility. Organic matter digestibility was increased only by supplying starch and nitrogen together. Nitrogen balance (NB) was increased (p<0.10) by the nitrogen supplementation as well as by starch supplementation. Despite this, even though a significant interaction was not observed (p>0.10), NB obtained with nitrogen plus starch supplementation was greater than NB obtained with either nitrogen or starch exclusive supplementation. Supplementation with starch and nitrogen to beef cattle grazing during the rainy season can possibly improve digestion and nitrogen retention in the animal.

Keywords

Beef Cattle;Digestibility;Intake;Metabolism;Nellore Steers;Nitrogen Retention

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