Pastures of Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) and para grass (Brachiaria decumbens) for fattening pigs

Barbosa, A.S.; Figueiredo, E.P.; Veloso, J.E.F.; Cavalcanti, S.S.; Albuquerqe, G.C. filho; Vilela, H.

Arquivos da Escola de Veterinaria da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais 26(3): 365-379


Accession: 000453371

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From 23 to 60 kg 126 pigs were given a growing feed with 16% crude protein. One group was housed, with feed to appetite, and 6 groups were on pasture with 75% of the amount eaten to appetite by the first group. The pastures were of Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) or para grass (Brachiaria decumbens) and on each the pigs were allowed 125, 250 or 375 m2 each. Average daily gain was significantly greater in the confined pigs, with no difference among groups in conversion of feed to gain. From 60 to 93 kg all the pigs were housed and fed to appetite on a finishing feed with 14% crude protein. Those formerly on pasture then gained significantly faster and more efficiently than the group housed during the growing period, but for the whole trial average daily gain was significantly greater for the housed pigs and efficiency was only slightly better for those on pasture while growing. It took about 10 days longer to reach slaughter weight when the pigs were first on pasture. There was no difference between pastures or among stocking rates.