Substituition of urea for soybean meal and forced intake of minerals on the performance of growing crossbred calves

ABSTRACT Forty eight crossbred calves, 24 males and 24 females, with weight and age of 203.6±3.7kg and 11.8±1.0 months were allotted to the following treatments: MT- mineral salt ad libitum and sugar cane mixed with 10g kg-1 mixture of urea and ammonium sulfate in a 9:1 proportion; MA - sugar cane mixed with 16g kg-1 of a concentrate of urea (550g kg-1), ammonium sulfate (60g kg-1) and minerals (390g kg-1); SU - sugar cane mixed with 50g kg-1 of a concentrate of soybean meal (830g kg-1), urea (52g kg-1) and minerals (118g kg-1) and MC - corn silage mixed with 10g kg-1 of a concentrate of urea (500g kg-1), ammonium sulfate (50g kg-1) and minerals (450g kg-1). Minerals mixed with sugar cane (MA) resulted in greater weight gain (0.258 x 0.188kg d-1) for similar intakes of DM (3.29 x 3.30kg d-1). Substitution of part of urea nitrogen in the MA by soybean meal (SU) resulted in greater ADG (0.538 x 0.258kg d-1), due to higher sugar cane intake (4.10 x 3.13kg d-1). ADG of calves receiving corn silage was greater (0.406 x 0.258kg d-1) than for calves receiving sugar cane.