Economic performance of high-energy diets and supplementation with chromium propionate or calcium salts of palm oil in ewes’ production


ABSTRACT The experiment aimed to analyze the economic viability of using high-energy diets and the supplementation of chromium propionate or calcium salts of palm oil in the diet of ewes from the late gestation until the end of lactation. Seventy-two ewes of Santa Ines × Dorper crossbreeds were allocated to five treatments: CTL (n = 14) with 100% of NRC recommendation for metabolizable energy per kg dry matter intake (ME/kg DMI), LOW (n = 14) with 90% ME/kg DMI, HIGH (n = 15) with 110% ME/kg DMI, Cr (n = 15) HIGH diet plus chromium propionate, and FAT (n = 14) HIGH diet plus calcium salts of palm oil. Based on the performance data, a short-term analysis was performed for a module of 1000 ewes, evaluating costs, revenues, and profitability, and long-term analysis was performed by an additional cash flow of 120 months. The CTL and FAT treatments were not viable due to higher costs and lower revenues, and they also had a negative net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR). The LOW treatment, despite lower costs and positive profitability, had a negative NPV (-$872.90) and IRR (1.85%) that was below the discount rate, making it unprofitable in the long run. The HIGH and Cr treatments were considered feasible because they had lower unit costs and higher profitability, in addition to a high NPV ($64,894.11 and 104,902.05, respectively) and a higher IRR (9.03% and 13.65%, respectively) than the discount rate. The use of high-energy diets, with added chromium propionate, promoted better performance and, consequently, better economic return.



economy, palm oil, profitability, reproduction, sheep