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Interpretive Summary: The energy requirement for maintenance of Nellore crossbreds in tropical conditions during the finishing period

By: Rodrigo S. Goulart, Luis O. Tedeschi, Saulo L. Silva, Paulo R. Leme, Maurício M. de Alencar, and Dante P. D. Lanna

Although several studies have shown that the maintenance energy expenditures vary with breeds, there has been no available data comparing the energy requirements of different genetic groups of beef cattle determined during the finishing phase when raised under the same plane of nutrition from birth through slaughter born from a single cowherd. This study evaluated the influence of purebred Nellore and its crosses with Simmental, Angus, and Canchim slaughtered at the same age and body composition on their net energy requirement for maintenance (NEm). Animals were reared in tropical conditions, receiving only free-choice minerals from birth through the beginning of the feedlot phase, potentially altering the intake, carcass composition, mature weight, and consequently, affecting the energy requirement for maintenance during the finishing period. The pooled data analysis for Nellore and its crosses resulted in common NEm requirement of 86.9 kcal/d/kg0.75 of empty body weight (EBW). However, although not statistically different, the NEm values from Nellore (NL) and Angus × Nellore (AN) were 85.5 and 90.8 kcal/d/kg0.75 EBW, respectively, showing a decrease in NEm of 5.76% for NL in comparison with AN steers.

Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.