International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 263

Full Length Research Paper

Grazing behavior, growth performance, carcass yield and economic analysis of steers supplemented with concentrate in an integrated crop-livestock system

Perecles Brito Batista
  • Perecles Brito Batista
  • Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
Severino Gonzaga Neto
  • Severino Gonzaga Neto
  • Department of Animal Science, Center for Agricultural Sciences, Federal University of Paraiba (CCA/UFPB), Areia, Paraíba, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
Danilo Gusmao de Quadros
  • Danilo Gusmao de Quadros
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research, United States.
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Gherman Garcia Leal Araújo
  • Gherman Garcia Leal Araújo
  • Embrapa Semiarido, Brazil.
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Douglas Tolleson
  • Douglas Tolleson
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research, United States.
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Heraldo Namorato de Souza
  • Heraldo Namorato de Souza
  • Cenpes, Petrobras, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 13 January 2021
  •  Accepted: 16 April 2021
  •  Published: 30 April 2021

Abstract

This trial evaluated concentrate supplementation on grazing behavior, growth performance, carcass yield and economic analysis of off-season steer production in an integrated crop-livestock system (ICL). A randomized block design with the pastures (modules) as blocks, with 4 treatments, 4 groups of animals per treatment and 3 animals per group (N=48, 395±16 kg) was used to evaluate increasing levels of concentrate supplementation (1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 kg/animal/day) containing 17% crude protein and 76% total digestible nutrients. The steers were kept in “Santa Fé” ICL Urocloa ruziziensis pastures during the dry season. Concentrate intake was 0.98, 1.45, 1.86, and 2.02 kg/animal/day, representing 0.23, 0.34, 0.44, and 0.47% of BW. Supplementation did not affect grazing time (P = 0.66); however, linearly decreased rumination time (P = 0.025) and increased idling (P = 0.043) and trough (P = 0.034) times. Average daily gain, carcass weight, dressing percentage and beef productivity linearly increased (P < 0.01) with increasing concentrate in the diets. All the supplementation levels were profitable, but the profit margin was greater in the highest level of concentrate supplementation. Concentrate supplementation to produce off-season Nellore steers in ICL was an efficient and profitable way to enhance growth performance and carcass yield without compromising grazing activity.

Key words: beef cattle, behavior, carcass, intake, performance.