In Italy nearly two thirds of the beef bulls are reared in northern regions by specialized intensive fatteners that import stock calves from other European countries, mainly from France. Usually they feed them until slaughter with total mixed rations based on maize silage and concentrates. The increase of feed and animal purchase costs, the growing requirements for environmental sustainability and the expected detrimental changes in Common Agricultural Policy for intensive systems are currently endangering the viability of this sector. This study aimed to analyse the effects of management factors such as beef breed, body weight (BW) at arrival and diets on performance traits, nutrient excretion and net sale gain (NSG), taken as economic indicator, computed as (beef value at sale – beef value at purchase) and expressed per day of fattening (€/d). Seventeen specialized fattening herds were visited monthly during 1 year to collect performance data and diets formulation and composition. The data were analyzed using ANOVA with herd, breed and classes of management factors as fixed effects. The fattening period for beef cattle lasted on average 229 d, with an average BW at purchase and at sale of 370 and 671 kg, respectively. The average NSG computed per day of fattening was 2.44 €/d, with a large variation due to herd and breed. Feed intake averaged 9.75 kg DM, and the average gain to feed ratio was 7.5. Diets were characterised by an average crude protein and phosphorus content of 141 g/kg DM and 3.78 g/kg DM, respectively, the ratio between NSC and NDF averaged 1.4, and average self-sufficiency was 33% on daily DM intake. During the production cycle the intake, the retention and excretion of nitrogen averaged 0.22, 0.04 and 0.18 kg/d, respectively, and those of phosphorous averaged 0.04, 0.01 and 0.03 kg/d, respectively. Further studies are needed for better defining the profitability of this system by including the ratio and cost of feedstuffs purchased outside the farm.

Factors affecting performance and economic traits of intensively managed beef cattle in Italy

CESARO, GIACOMO;BERTON, MARCO;GALLO, LUIGI;STURARO, ENRICO
2014

Abstract

In Italy nearly two thirds of the beef bulls are reared in northern regions by specialized intensive fatteners that import stock calves from other European countries, mainly from France. Usually they feed them until slaughter with total mixed rations based on maize silage and concentrates. The increase of feed and animal purchase costs, the growing requirements for environmental sustainability and the expected detrimental changes in Common Agricultural Policy for intensive systems are currently endangering the viability of this sector. This study aimed to analyse the effects of management factors such as beef breed, body weight (BW) at arrival and diets on performance traits, nutrient excretion and net sale gain (NSG), taken as economic indicator, computed as (beef value at sale – beef value at purchase) and expressed per day of fattening (€/d). Seventeen specialized fattening herds were visited monthly during 1 year to collect performance data and diets formulation and composition. The data were analyzed using ANOVA with herd, breed and classes of management factors as fixed effects. The fattening period for beef cattle lasted on average 229 d, with an average BW at purchase and at sale of 370 and 671 kg, respectively. The average NSG computed per day of fattening was 2.44 €/d, with a large variation due to herd and breed. Feed intake averaged 9.75 kg DM, and the average gain to feed ratio was 7.5. Diets were characterised by an average crude protein and phosphorus content of 141 g/kg DM and 3.78 g/kg DM, respectively, the ratio between NSC and NDF averaged 1.4, and average self-sufficiency was 33% on daily DM intake. During the production cycle the intake, the retention and excretion of nitrogen averaged 0.22, 0.04 and 0.18 kg/d, respectively, and those of phosphorous averaged 0.04, 0.01 and 0.03 kg/d, respectively. Further studies are needed for better defining the profitability of this system by including the ratio and cost of feedstuffs purchased outside the farm.
2014
Book of Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
9789086862481
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3153958
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