Efficiency of nitrogen metabolism in beef cattle grazing pasture and supplemented with different protein levels in the rainy season
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Supplementation of animals in the rainy season is essential to maximise weight gain. Thus, the objective was to evaluate the effects of supplementation with low-, medium- and high-protein levels on nutritional parameters of grazing beef cattle in the rainy season. Eight rumen-cannulated Nellore bulls (437 kg body weight) were used in a 4 × 4 double Latin square design with four supplements and four experimental periods. The treatments were mineral supplement (ad libitum) and supplements with low-protein (LPSU), medium-protein (MPS) and high-protein (HPS) levels, providing 106, 408 and 601 g/day of crude protein (CP), respectively. There was no difference (P > 0.05) between treatments for dry matter and forage intake, ruminal pH, ruminal ammonia nitrogen (RAN) at time 0 (before supplementation) and microbial protein yield. Animals on MPS had a higher (P > 0.05) intake and digestibility of CP, higher RAN levels (3 and 6 h after supplementation), increased nitrogen intake and a better nitrogen balance than animals on LPSU. The HPS provided higher (P > 0.05) RAN at time 6 and a better nitrogen balance when compared with MPS. We therefore infer that the high-protein supplement positively impacts nitrogen metabolism and efficiency in grazing beef cattle during the rainy season.
KeywordsBulls Forage Protein Ruminal fermentation Supplementation
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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