Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewed

Effect of pre- and post-weaning supplementation on performance, nutritional, and metabolic characteristics in Nellore heifers under grazing

de Paula, Camila; Renno, Luciana Navajas; Ferreira, Matheus Fellipe de Lana; da Silva, Aghata Elins Moreira; Moreira, Samira Silveira; Assis, Gutierrez Jose de Freitas; Detmann, Edenio; Valadares Filho, Sebastiao de Campos; Fonseca Paulino, Mario; dos Santos, Giancarlo Magalhaes

Abstract

Context. Supplementation during the pre- and post-weaning periods is essential to improve the development of beef heifers in tropical pastures. Especially during the dry period, performance of heifers is limited due to low forage yield and poor nutritional value. Aim. Evaluate the effect of supplementation during pre- and post-weaning periods on performance, nutritional, and metabolic characteristics in Nellore heifers under grazing. Methods. Fifty-four Nellore heifers were randomly divided between the following four supplementation plans, with two replicates: NN, not supplemented in the pre- and post-weaning dry period; NS, not supplemented in the pre-weaning period and supplemented in the post-weaning dry period; SN, supplemented in the pre-weaning period and not supplemented in the post-weaning dry period; and SS, supplemented in the pre- and post-weaning dry periods; with 14, 13, 13 and 14 calves in each treatment respectively. In the post-weaning dry-to-rainy transition period, all heifers were supplemented. Key results. Supplementation increased (P < 0.05) the intake of dry matter and crude protein on Day 56 (pre-weaning phase) and Day 168 (post-weaning dry period). Heifers supplemented during the pre-weaning phase had a higher final body weight (fBW) and average daily gain (ADG) on Day 112 (P < 0.05). Heifers NS and SS had higher fBW and ADG on Day 224 (P < 0.05). On Day 280, fBW were higher (P < 0.05) for heifers NS and SS. Insulin-like growth factor I was higher for heifers supplemented in the pre-weaning period on Day 112, and higher for NS and SS heifers on Day 224 (P < 0.05). Albumin concentrations were higher (P < 0.05) for heifers NS and SS on Day 280. Supplementation had no effect on either corpus luteum presence or concentration of progesterone (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Supplementation during either pre- or post-weaning phases improved multiple performance, nutritional, and metabolic characteristics. The results due to supplementation post-weaning were independent of supplementation pre-weaning. However, supplementation did not result in an improved response to the puberty induction protocol used in this experiment.

Keywords

beef heifers; Bos indicus; breeding season; creep-feeding; growth rate; IGF-I; physiological changes; puberty induction protocol

Published in

Animal Production Science
2022, Volume: 62, number: 17, pages: 1706-1719 Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/AN22025

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/118459