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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2017 Feb;101(1):53-60. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12504. Epub 2016 Apr 3.

Effect of increasing levels of wasted date palm on digestion, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis in sheep.

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Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.


This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of increasing levels of wasted date (WD) in sheep (initial body weight 50 ± 2.3 kg) diets on apparent diet digestibility, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis. The experimental diets contained 0 (0 WD), 9% (9 WD), 18% (18 WD) or 27% (27 WD) of wasted dates. These diets were evaluated through a 4 × 4 Latin square design with four 28-day periods. Sheep were individually housed in metabolic cages and were fed diets ad libitum. To keep the diets isoenergetic and isonitrogenous, increasing partial replacement of WD for barley grain was used with increasing levels of soya bean meal. Increasing the amount of WD in diets of sheep did not influence (p > 0.05) diet intake and digestibility of nutrients. Inclusion of WD in diets of sheep did not affect (p > 0.05) ruminal pH but decreased (p < 0.05) NH3 -N concentration and blood urea nitrogen. Also there was no effect (p > 0.05) of the WD provision on N intake and faecal N loss of experimental animals, but urinary nitrogen excretion and retained nitrogen were affected (p < 0.05) by dietary treatments. Purine derivatives and microbial protein synthesis increased (p < 0.05) linearly with the level of WD in the diet. In conclusion, the increase in microbial protein synthesis and concomitant reduction in ruminal NH3 -N concentration and blood urea nitrogen in response to wasted date supply suggest improved efficiency of ruminal nitrogen metabolism without adverse effects on fermentation characteristics and animal performance.


microbial protein synthesis; nitrogen metabolism; sheep; wasted date

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