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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2011;24(6): 791-799.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2011.10417    Published online April 27, 2011.
Feed Restriction and Compensatory Growth in Guzerá Females
S. Gonzaga Neto, L. R. Bezerra, A. N. Medeiros, M. A. Ferreira, E. C. Pimenta Filho, E. P. Cândido, R. L. Oliveira
This study examined the effect of restricting feed intake and the subsequent compensatory growth in Guzerá females. Eighteen animals with an initial age of 21 months and a mean weight of 268.17 kg were placed in three groups according to the alimentary regime: feed ad libitum; feed restricted to 20% dry matter; and feed restricted to 40% dry matter. In the restricted feed phase, the dry mater intake decreased as the restriction levels increased, influencing the reduction in intake of other nutrients. In the realimentation phase, the 40% restricted feed group ingested more dry matter (% BW) and crude protein (weight0.75) than the group fed ad libitum (p<0.001). The serum nutrient concentrations were inversely proportional (p<0.001) to the restriction level, and there was no difference (p>0.001) in the realimentation phase. In the restricted feed phase, the final live weight decreased (p<0.05) as the restriction level increased. For the daily mean weight gain in the control group, there was no difference (p>0.05) compared to the animals with 20% feed restriction, but this was higher than in the group with 40% feed restriction. In the re-alimentation phase, the group with 40% feed restriction achieved higher weight gain rates, which was different from the control and 20% restriction groups. In both phases, the animals in the group with 40% feed restriction presented better feed conversion which was different (p<0.05) from the control group. In the feed restriction phase, it was observed that the intake of N, nitrogen excreted in feces and urine, nitrogen balance and nitrogen retention decreased (p<0.05) with the restriction level. None of the variables were influenced in the re-alimentation phase. These results show that feed restriction by 40% can be adopted as a nutritional management practice.
Keywords: Compensatory Growth; Metabolites; Nitrogen; Nutrition; Zebu

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