Post-winter protein supplementation in extensive bovine systems of Tierra del Fuego

Recibido 26 de diciembre de 2017 // Aceptado 28 de mayo de 2019 // Publicado online 13 de noviembre de 2019


Livestock production in the central zone of Tierra del Fuego province is mainly carried out based on meadows and understory forage. Both, the forage production seasonality and harsh climate, entail challenges for an adequate cattle management that guarantee a profitable production. In this context, management options that minimize climate risks and reduce labor costs are needed to sustain productivity. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to compare over 2 years a management that incorporate late winter protein supplementation against a control treatment that represents the traditional management. Supplementation consisted of a 500 g/animal daily delivery of nutritional supplement (30% protein) at the end of the winter. On both treatments, were measured live weight gain/loss, docility (roundup time, heart rate and blood levels of cortisol, lactate and glycemia, and creatine kinase enzyme activity) and parasite load. Quantity and quality of available forage, and quality of water for animal consumption were also assessed. The productive results depended on the climatic rigor of the year, with supplementation being convenient only when the animals were losing live weight. On the other hand, the tameness of cattle was evident under the supplemented handling in both seasons given the reduction of roundup times without effect on physiological tameness indicators.

Keywords: livestock production, animal welfare, tameness, parasite load.

1Instituto de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Estación Experimental Agropecuaria (EEA) Manfredi, Área de Producción Animal, Grupo de Producción Ganadera, Ruta Nacional N.o 9 km 636 (5988), Manfredi, Córdoba. Correo electrónico:
2Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Centro Regional Patagonia Sur (CR), Agencia de Extensión Rural (AER) Río Grande, El Cano N.o 658 (9429) Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. Correo electrónico:
3Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (CNIA), Centro de Investigaciones de Agroindustria (CIA), Instituto Tecnología de Alimentos (ITA) De la Tradición s/n, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET). Universidad de Morón.
4Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Estación Experimental Agropecuaria (EEA) Santa Cruz, Mahatma Gandhi 1322 (Z9400), Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET). Correo electrónico:

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