Protein supplementation of dairy cows grazing Tifton 85 during the dry season

ABSTRACT Concentrates with high crude protein and minerals and lower energy concentration could be used in smaller quantities in balancing diets with tropical bulk. The objective of this study was to evaluate the dry matter intake, the productive and economical response of Girolando cows kept in Tifton 85 pasture during dry season receiving different concentrations of protein supplementation. Twelve lactating Girolando cows with initial mean milk yield of 18.00±1.615kg/day were used. The animals were distributed in three Latin squares (4x4), consisting of four treatments and four experimental periods, each lasting 15 days. The treatments were composed of control diet with only mineral salt, and three levels of protein supplementation with 40, 50, and 60% crude protein (CP) being supplied in the amounts of 2.5kg/animal/day. It was found that the protein supplement supplies provided a substitutive effect of forage relative to mineral supplementation. The use of concentrated supplementation with 40% crude protein content was more efficient in terms of production, production of crude protein in milk and economically.