1Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Omar Al-Mukhtar University, El-Bieda, Libya
2Department of Animal Production, Sebha Agricultural Research Centre, Libya
3Department of Animal Production, Sebha University, Sebha, Libya
Receive Date: 09 July 2013,
Revise Date: 11 August 2013,
Accept Date: 31 August 2013
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of replacing barley with different levels of ground date seeds (GDS) in the diet (0, 15, 3o and 45%) on performance of local growing male goats. Sixteen local male kids (average live weight 16.1±1.41 kg) were allocated randomly to four treatments (4 animal/treatment). The trial consisted of a 14 day acclimatization period followed by a 60-day measurements. The chemical analysis revealed that the ground date seeds used in this study contain (%) 6.3, 8.7, 62.4, 49.5 and 3.7 of crude protein, crude fat, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber and ash respectively. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the average daily gain (54.38, 56.67, 44.58 and 47.92 g) or total gain (3.28, 3.40, 2.68 and 2.88 kg) and also in the total intake (35.12, 28.53, 28.12, and 29.15 kg) or in the intake of the concentrate, although the hay intake was higher (P<0.05) for the control compared with other treatments (8.33, 5.82, 6.18 and 6.3) for 0, 30, 15, and 45% ground date seeds respectively. There was no significant (P>0.05) difference in feed conversion rates (11.09, 8.98, 12.24 and 11.50) between the treatments. Economic criteria indicated that increasing the levels of ground date seeds in the ration resulted in a decrease in the cost of total intake (12.08, 8.82, 7.48 and 6.57 LD) for 0, 15, 30, and 45% treatments respectively. It was shown that the net return was doubled with inclusion of 15, and 45% GDS when compared with control ration (8.2 and 7.8 vs. 4.3). It was observed that the relative economic efficiency was increased with increased ground date stone levels. The current study concluded that ground date seeds can be included in the ration of local growing goats up to 15% without any detrimental effect on performance. However, the economic benefit could be obtained up to 45% ground date seeds.
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