At the Remehue Experimental Station, X Region of Chile, a trial was established in oTder to study the effect of different winter environments on fattening steers, during the winter of 1979. Six steers per treetment were used, alloted at random, to the following treatments:
I. Fattening barnyard, under roof and on floor with warm bed;
II. Fattening barnyard, under roofand on concrete floor;
III. Fattening barnyard, under roof, on concrete floor, and fastened animals; and
IV. Open feedlot, without protection (no roof) and en earth floor.
All treatments received silage plus 1 .5 kg rolled oats and 1 kg rapeseed meal/animal/day. Daihy weight gains for the different treatments were 1.110; 0.816; 0.734 and 0.980 kg/animal/day, respectively. Different types of floors (concrete or smooth floor, refered te as warm bed or earth floor) were the factors that affected these gains.
Treatment IV presented no statistical differences in weight gains (P > 0.05) with treatment I, but was better than those on concrete floor (II and III). The highest silage intake was for treatment IV, but due to its good weight gains, feed efficiency was better than on concrete floor. The best feed efficiency was given by treatment I.
This trial demonstrated that animal behaviour is greatly affected by the offered comfort level.