Effect of weaning age and supplementation on the growth and carcass characteristics of beef steers
de Almeida, L.S.P.; Lobato, J.F.P.; Schenkel, F.S.
Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia-Brazilian Journal of Animal Science 32(6): 1713-1721
ISSN/ISBN: 1806-9290 DOI: 10.1590/s1516-35982003000700022
The experiment run at the Agronomic Experimental Station of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, located in the district of Eldorado do Sul, Brazil, to evaluate the performance of 40 crossbred Bos indicus x Bos taurus calves until two years old, early weaned (EW) with average age of 91 days and minimum liveweight of 70 kg, or weaned at conventional age (CW), averaging 170 days old and liveweight of 131.2 kg, supplemented (Su) or not (NSu) with energy-protein diet with 14% crude protein and 75% total digestible nutrients during 91 days in the first winter. A completely randomized experimental design was used. EW steers were lighter at one year of age (EW=208.7 kg x CW=233.5 kg). Steers with 18-20 months of age were not different in average liveweight (EW=279.9 kg x CW=292.5 kg). Steers were slaughtered at average liveweights of CW=432.3 kg and EW=414.0 kg. Early weaning did not affect performance and carcass characteristics of steers with two years old. Supplementation in the first winter also did not affect performance of steers at slaughter.