Effects of long period feeding pistachio by-product silage on chewing activity, nutrient digestibility and ruminal fermentation parameters of Holstein male calves
P. Shakeri, A. Riasi and M. Alikhani
(Animal Journal, 8(11): 1826-1831)
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of pistachio by-product silage (PBPS) as a partial replacement for corn silage (CS) on chewing activity, nutrients digestibility and ruminal fermentation parameters in Holstein male calves over a 6-month assay. For this purpose, 24 Holstein male calves (4 to 5 months of age and 155.6 ± 13.5 kg BW) were randomly assigned to one of the four dietary treatments (n = 6). In these treatments, CS was substituted with different levels of PBPS (0%, 6%, 12% and 18% of dry matter (DM)). Nutrient digestibility was measured at the end of the experimental period (days 168 to 170). Ruminal fermentation parameters were determined on days 90 and 180 and chewing activity was determined on days 15 of the 3rd and 6th month of the experiment. Results showed that calves fed rations containing 6% PBPS spent more time ruminating ( P<0.05) than the control group on the 3rd and 6th months. Feeding PBPS was found to have no effects on DM, organic matter (OM), ether extract or ash digestibility, but apparent digestibility of CP, NDFom and ADFom linearly decreased ( P<0.01) with increasing substitutions. On days 90 and 180, ruminal concentrations of volatile fatty acids and NH3–N linearly decreased ( P<0.01) with increasing levels of PBPS in the diets; however, ruminal pH and molar proportions of acetate, propionate and butyrate were similar across the treatments. It was concluded that partial substitution of CS with PBPS (6% or 12%) would have no adverse effects on nutrient digestibility, total chewing activity and ruminal fermentation parameters.
Key words: Pistachio, Tannin, Calves, Digestibility, VFA