Citrus Pulp Replacing Corn in the Supplement Decreased Fibre Digestibility with No Impacts on Performance of Cattle Grazing Marandu Palisade Grass in the Wet-Dry Transition Period
Animals 2022, 12(7), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070822
Published: 24 March 2022
The wet-dry transition period brings unique challenges to cattle producers in the tropics as the forage quality starts to decrease and animal performance is negatively affected unless supplementation strategies are applied. Two experiments were conducted concomitantly to evaluate the performance and metabolic parameters of cattle supplemented with two different energy sources under a C4 tropical grass continuous grazing system in the wet-dry transition period. In experiment (exp) 1, the liveweight (LW) gain of 42 growing Bos indicus Nellore bulls allocated to 12 paddocks of Uruchloa brizantha cv. Marandu, in a completely randomized block design, was evaluated to compare corn and citrus pulp-based supplements offered at 0.5% LW. Metabolism was evaluated in exp 2 with eight rumen-cannulated Nellore steers in an incomplete replicated Latin square design (RLSD) 4 × 2 (steers × treatment) fed the same two treatments as in exp 1. No differences in animal performance were observed between corn or citrus pulp-based supplements. Rumen pH, ammonia nitrogen, and blood urea nitrogen were lower in the rumen of animals supplemented with citrus pulp. Despite this, there were no differences in total dry matter intake amongst the two energy sources. The neutral detergent fibre digestibility of the diet containing corn decreased, but it neither affected performance nor liveweight gain per area. The findings suggest that corn can be replaced by citrus pulp with neither detrimental effects on animal performance nor indirect effects on pastures productivity.
Keywords: by-product; energy; protein; stocking rate; warm season grasses