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Pastos y Forrajes

Print version ISSN 0864-0394On-line version ISSN 2078-8452


IGLESIAS GOMEZ, Jesús Manuel; GALLOSO-HERNANDEZ, Maykel A.; TORAL-PEREZ, Odalys Caridad  and  AGUILAR-HERNANDEZ, Anober. Productive performance and behavior of grazing river buffaloes and Zebu bulls in a silvopastoral system. Pastos y Forrajes [online]. 2019, vol.42, n.3, pp.223-229. ISSN 0864-0394.

The objective of this work was to characterize the productive and ethological daily performance of cattle and buffaloes, raised together in the fattening stage, in a silvopastoral system which included Megathyrsus maximus (Jacqs.) B.K. Simon & S.W.L. Jacobs cv. Likoni as basis pasture (85 % of the floristic composition of the pastureland) and the woody plant Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) de Wit cvs. Cunningham, Peru and CNIA-250, with a density of 555 trees/ha. The area was divided into eight paddocks, with initial and final stocking rate of 1,24 and 1,78 LAU/ha, respectively. The pasture yield was 4 325,0 kg DM/ha/rotation. Twelve buffaloes and 12 bullocks of 280,5 and 291,0 kg of live weight, respectively. At the beginning of the trial, they were monthly weighed and the mean daily gains and weight increase were estimated. For the ethological behavior, the considered variables were: time and percentage in pasture ingestion, rumination, water intake, among other activities. The buffaloes surpassed cattle in 0,714 kg in the live weight gain. Similar performance was found in the final weight, which was higher (p≤ 0,05) in the buffaloes, which finished with 425,2 kg, more than 30 kg over the bullocks. Statistically significant differences were found in the ethological behavior between species, where the buffaloes made a higher utilization of the established conditions in the system with trees, ruminated more and dedicated less time to grazing. It is concluded that both species dedicated more than 83 % of the day time to pasture consumption and rumination, with preponderance for the ingestion activity, for which the silvopastoral system can contribute to a good performance of both species.

Keywords : Bovinae; fattening; ethology..

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