keywords: Date seed meal, milk quantity and quality, performance characteristics
The feeding value of Date palm seed meal (DPSM) (Phoenix dactylifera) was investigated in comparison with Groundnut cake using lactating goat (average initial weight = 14.5 kg). Lactating West African dwarf goats (n=12) were used for the experiment in a Completely Randomized design model for a six week period. The experimental Diets consist of A (0% DSM), B (1% DSM) and C (2% DSM). The results revealed a Crude Protein (CP) content of 9.15%, 8.37% and 8.57% in Diets A, B, and C, respectively. The ether extract content (EE) was 5.92 (A), 7.12 (B) and 8.90 (C). The Dry matter intake ranged from 1195.82 to 1206.35 g/d. The highest dry matter intake was recorded for Diet B. However, the Date seed meal based diets recorded numerically higher value compared to the control (Diet A). The Crude Protein intake was similar among all the diets. An interesting consequence of Date seed meal was the significant increase of Ether extract intake as the inclusion levels of Date seed meal increased in the diet. Conversely, the ash content was least for Diet C (2% DPSM) than Diet B (1% DPSM). The digestibility coefficient of the DSM based diet was significantly higher compared to the Control diet (A). Inclusion of Date seed meal in the diet of goat resulted in significant increase in the milk fat, protein, solids not fat, lactose and total solids. Additionally, the average milk yield was highest in diet B. Overall, the results indicate that Date seed meal had a high potential in the diet of lactating goat for better performance.
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