R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Jan/2017;46(1):80-4.
Sugarcane bagasse as exclusive roughage for dairy heifers
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different concentrate levels (40, 50, 60, and 70% on dry matter basis) on intake, digestibility of nutrients, and performance of heifers fed sugarcane bagasse as exclusive roughage. Twenty Girolando heifers, with an average body weight of 198±25.6 kg were assigned to a completely randomized design, established according to body weight. The intake of dry matter (5.12 to 7.73 kg d-1), organic matter (4.72 to 7.32 kg d-1), crude protein (0.71 to 1.05 kg d-1), and digestible organic matter (3.09 to 4.77 kg d-1) linearly increased with the inclusion of concentrate in the diets. The final weight (238 to 299 kg d-1), body weight gain (0.50 to 1.20 kg d-1), and total weight gain (35.2 to 83.6 kg d-1) linearly increased with the concentrate levels. Considering the occurrence of the first calving at 24 months, a 50:50 ratio of sugarcane bagasse to concentrate seems to be the most appropriate for crossbred heifers.