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Evaluation of previous cattle diets from stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen analysis along tail length

Grant number: 20/00502-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Nutrition and Feeding
Principal researcher:Vladimir Eliodoro Costa
Grantee:Angélica Masucci Fernandes
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Beef cattle is one of the main agricultural activities in the State of São Paulo, representing the second product in the value of Paulista agricultural production. In this scenario, Brazil presents itself as the world's second largest meat producer approximately 10.2 million tons of beef in 2018. Chain control cattle production seeks to find non-invasive, practical and quick methods for inspection and certification of products of animal origin. The use of the isotopic signature of carbon and nitrogen presents itself as a viable alternative to track and certify the diet offered to the animal. Sampling of the animal's tail hair can be particularly useful since it provides a memory of the diets of periods can be collected quickly and easily, with a minimum of disturbance of living individuals. Thus, the objective of this study is to identify changes in diets of bovine animals, with the inclusion of poultry litter in up to three previous months, from the carbon and nitrogen isotopic signature along the length of the tail hair. Hair samples from 10 animals will be used who had controlled diets for 83 days, with and without poultry litter. Through segments cut from several hairs, in a sequenced manner, the isotopic carbon and nitrogen signatures using a continuous flow system of isotopic ratio mass spectrometry. It is expected to establish a methodology isotope capable of differentiating the diets offered to the animal over time.

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