Calf fattening based on tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus ssp. palmensis) grazing and supplemented by oats in Arauco province, Chile

Germán Klee G.1*, Carlos Ovalle M.1 y Juan C. Canobbi V.2

The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the liveweight (LW) gains of calves grazing during the fall-winter season on 4 year-old tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus ssp. palmensis), 2.500 trees per ha, planted on natural pasture, and to evaluate the effect of two levels of oat (Avena sativa L.) grain supplementation. Eighteen Holstein x Aberdeen Angus or Hereford bull calves of 184 kg liveweight and 7.5 months of age were used. The treatments studied were: T1: Tagasaste grazing; T2: Tagasaste grazing plus 2 kg of oats calf-1 day-1; and T3: Tagasaste grazing plus 4 kg of oats calf-1 day-1. The daily LW gain differed significantly (P < 0.05) and was 0.6, 1.8, and 1.10 kg calf-1 and 270, 382 and 529 kg ha-1 in the treatments T1, T2 and T3, respectively. The estimated consumption of tagasaste DM (leaves and soft stems) was 3.7 kg DM bull-calf -1 day-1. The components of tagasaste plants were 25.3% leaves, 11.3% tender stems and 63.4% woody stems. The mean DM per bush was 1983 g plant-1 and 4,957 kg ha-1. The CP and ME content in leaves were 21.8% and 2.4 Mcal kg-1; in soft stems were 9% and 1.71 Mcal kg-1; in ripe stems 3.4% and 1.9 Mcal kg-1, respectively. Tagasaste was an acceptable resource for winter grazing that on being supplemented with oat grain permitted significantly better liveweight gains.

Keywords: winter grazing, Avena sativa L., agroforestry.
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Regional de Investigación Quilamapu, Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile. E-mail: gklee@inia.cl * : Autor para correspondencia
2 Esmeralda N° 019, Cañete, Chile.