Effects of Replacing Different Levels of Alfalfa Hay with Pistachio Hull on Feed Intake, Digestibility of Nutrients, Rumen Fermentative Parameters, Blood Metabolites and Nitrogen Balance in Balochi Male Lambs

Document Type : Ruminant Nutrition



In this study, we determined the effects of replacing different levels of alfalfa with Pistachio Hull (PH) on feed intake, digestibility of nutrients, rumen fermentative parameters, blood metabolites and nitrogen metabolism in Balochi male lambs. Three male lambs (35±2 kg live weight) equipped with ruminal and abomasual cannulas were randomly assigned into a 3 × 3 Latin square design. Experimental diets included 1) 30% alfalfa, 20% wheat straw, 50% concentrate (DM basis) and in 2 and 3 diets the 15 and 30% of alfalfa was replaced with Pistachio Hull, respectively. Result showed that feed intake was not different between treatments. Total tract digestibility for DM, OM, ADF and NDF were not significantly affected by the diets, but CP in total tract was significantly decreased. Dietary PH content resulted in a decrease in the rumen N-NH3 concentration. The concentration of liver enzymes, cholesterol, HDL, LDL and VLDL were not influenced by PH content of diet. As tannin was increased in the diets, the nitrogen intake, nitrogen excretion from urine and digested nitrogen significantly were decreased. Nitrogen excretions from fecal were significantly increased by increased of dietary tannin. Therefore, using of PH in level of 30% (DM basis) due to supply appropriate levels of tannin without negative effects on feed intake and nutrient digestibility, can improve animal performance and with increasing nitrogen excretion from urine to feces environmentally can be very beneficial.