Open Access

Partial Replacement of Concentrate with Olive Cake in Different forms in the Diet of Lactating Barki Ewes Affects the Lactational Performance and Feed Utilization


The present experiment aimed to evaluate the inclusion of dried olive cake treated or untreated with fibrolytic enzyme, partially replacing concentrates in the diet of ewes. Forty lactating Barki ewes, weighing 37.1 ± 4.0 kg, were assigned into four treatments (n=10) in a complete randomized design for 9 weeks. Ewes were stratified according to parity (2 ± 1 parity) and previous milk production (615 ± 11 g/d). The control diet consisted of concentrates and corn fodder at 60:40, respectively. For the experimental diets, 30% of the concentrates was replaced with dried olive cake (DOC treatment), olive cake silage (SOC treatment) or olive cake silage treated with fibrolytic enzymes (ESOC treatment). Without affecting intake, DOC, SOC and ESOC diets enhanced (P<0.05) dry matter, organic matter and non-structural carbohydrate digestibility; however, ESOC diets increased (P<0.05) neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber digestibility. Additionally, DOC, SOC and ESOC diets increased (P<0.05) ruminal total volatile fatty acids, acetate and propionate without affecting ruminal pH and ammonia-N concentration. The ESOC diet increased serum glucose concentration (P=0.019). Both of SOC and ESOC diets increased (P<0.05) daily milk production and energy corrected milk as well as milk fat concentration (P=0.028). All of DOC, SOC and ESOC increased (P<0.05) feed (milk) efficiency compared with the control diet. It is concluded that 30% of concentrates can be replaced with olive cake without negative effects on performance but with better performance when olive cake was ensiled with or without fibrolytic enzymes.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Zoology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine