The effects of winter nutrition on the subsequent Jive-we ght performance and intake of herbage by beef cattle
Wanyoike, Margaret, M.
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Thirty-six Friesian and Friesian cross-bred cattle about 11 months old were fed to grow at the rates of 0·50 (low) and 1·08 (high) kg/day in a 12-week winter feeding period and then turned out on high quality pasture. For 12 weeks after turning out the ‘low’ and ‘high’ animals gained weight at 1·17 and 0·90 kg/day respectively. There was a negative correlation (– 0·57, P < 0·01) between winter and grazing live-weight gain. On two occasions herbage intake was estimated. Average intake of ‘low’ animals was 12% higher than of ‘high’ animals although herbage digestibility, estimated from faecal N, was similar for the two treatments. Differences in live-weight gain on pasture between treatments were largely accounted for by differences in intake. The low rate of winter growth did not have any significant effects on age at slaughter, carcass weights or grades attained by the restricted animals.