Effects of the type of yard on fattening of steers in southern Chile

Ljubo Goic M.1, Enrique Siebald Sch.1 y Mario Matzner K1

At the Remehue Experimental Station, Osorno, Chile, during the winter of 1986, five types of yards for fattening beef were studied. Fourty Hereford steers were used, with 350 kg initlal L.W. Treatments used were: I, open yard with earth floor, feeding-trough and straw bed covered (slabs' roof), 67 m2/steer; II, open yard with earth fl oor, wíthout any protection, 67 m2/steer; III, open yard with concrete floor, straw bed with roof, opposite the feeding-trough, 7.5 m2/steer; IV, open yard with concrete floor, straw bed close to the feeding trough, 7.5 m2/steer; and V, open yard, concrete floor, without straw bed, covered feeding trough, 7.5 m2/steer. AII treatments received: oats silage (4.02 to 4.21), oats grain (1.34), and rapeseed meal (1.13 kg D.M./animal/day). The trial lasted 89 days. Intakes were similar and the use of straw was larger in treatment I (253 kg/steer), followed by treatments IV and II (245 and 170 kg/steer). Final weights were about 420 kg/animal. Daily weight gains were: 0.729 bc, 0.704 c, 0.794 ab, 0.768 abc, and 0.806 a kg/animal (P < 0.05), for treatments I up to V. Concrete floor, with this type of animals (Hereford) made no differences in daily weight gains, neither did the used of straw bed. Also, treatment I did not differ from treatment II, in daily weight gains. gains. It was concluded that the type of fattening yard was not an important factor for fattening winter steers, under this trial's conditions.

1 Estación Experimental Remehue (INIA), Casilla 24-0, Osorno, Chile.