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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.18.0584    [Accepted] Published online February 9, 2019.
Nutritional and productive parameters of Holstein/Zebu cows fed diets containing cactus pear
Lucas Daniel Alcântara Borges1, Vicente Ribeiro Rocha Júnior1,*  , Flávio Pinto Monção1  , Camila Soares1, José Reinaldo Mendes Ruas1,2, Fredson Vieira e Silva1, João Paulo Sampaio Rigueira1, Natanael Mendes Costa1, Laura Lúcia Santos Oliveira1, Walber de Oliveira Rabelo1
1Department of Animal Science and Technology, State University of Montes Claros, Avenue Reinaldo Viana, 2630, Janaúba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
2INCT- animal science member, Brazil
Correspondence:  Vicente Ribeiro Rocha Júnior,Email: vicente.rocha@unimontes.br
Received: 7 August 2018   • Revised: 29 October 2018   • Accepted: 15 January 2019
This study ascertained effects of cactus pear in association with different roughage in the diet of F1 Holstein/Zebu cows on intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen balance, ingestive behavior and performance.
Eight cows with 72 ± 11 days of lactation were used. The experimental design was simultaneous in two 4 x 4 Latin squares. Four experimental diets were used: Diet 1 - sorghum silage as exclusive roughage; Diet 2 - sorghum silage associated with cactus pear in a proportion of 50% of the roughage (dry basis); Diet 3 - elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum cv. Roxo) as exclusive roughage; Diet 4 - elephant grass associated with cactus pear in a proportion of 50% of the roughage. The roughage:concentrate ratio was 75:25. Dry matter intake (P = 0.01) was higher with sorghum silage.
There were differences in dry matter intake (P = 0.01), crude protein (P <0.01), ether extract (P = 0.01), non-fibrous carbohydrates (P <0.01) and total digestible nutrients (P = 0.01) among the diets. Cactus pear in the diet reduced water intake by 44.52% (P < 0.01). The nitrogen balance was 59.71% and 27.49% lower in animals treated with exclusive sorghum silage and sorghum silage associated with cactus pear in relation to diets with elephant grass and elephant grass associated with cactus pear, respectively (P < 0.01). The diets did not influence the milk production (P = 0.70), 3.5% fat corrected milk production (P = 0.72) or feed efficiency (P = 0.61).
The association of cactus pear with sorghum or elephant grass silage does not alter milk production, reduces the intake of dry matter and water and improves the digestibility of nutrients.
Keywords: Body Condition Score; Elephant Grass; Milk Production; Nitrogen Balance; Sorghum Silage

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