Fodder conservation alternatives evaluated with Hereford steers

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

The use of four alternatives of forage conservation from a permanent pasture (I: silage harvested in November, II: silage harvested in December, III: hay harvested in December, and from a red clover-ryegrass IV: silage harvested in January), was assessed, using 64 Hereford steers, during 2 years. A supplementation with 1.74 kg of wheat by product was in the first year and in the second year the supplementation was 1.27 kg of oat grain. Animals were housed groupally during winter. Quality parameters and the effect of the forage conservation alternatives on animal performance were studied. In the first year, the dry matter intakes were; 3.98; 4.25; 4.08 and 4.19 kg/animal/day; during the second period, they were 4.73; 4.73; 5.02 and 5.25 for the treatments I to IV, respectively. Daily gains during winter were 0.69, 0.45, 0.53 and 0.63 in the first year (P < 0.05); in the second year they were 0.66; 0.31; 0.39 and 0.51 (P < 0.05). During the grazing period there were no significant differences in the first year (in average LGM = 0.55). In the second year, daily gain were 0.62, 0.73, 0.77 and 0.65 (P < 0.05) for treatments I to IV, respectively. It was concluded that silage from early harvested pasture, was a good source to feed steer, comparable to a red clover/raygrass silage. It was observed that hay harvested in december could also be a good alternative. During the grazing period there was a compensatory growth. The definitive conclusion depends on the economic analysis, under the agroclimatic conditions of the area where the results are going to be applied.

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