Document Type : Original Article
Animal Production Research Institute, Agr. Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.
A Total of thirty six lactating Balady cows were selected at 2 month after parturition with average body weight 461.17kg to study the effect of replacing clover hay (CH) by eggplant or pepper vines in cows diets on nutrient digestibilities, feeding value, milk production and some blood constituents. Six similar groups of animals (6 cows/group) were randomly allocated on the dietary treatments of the experiment. Group T1 (control) were given the concentrate feed mixture (CFM) and CH (50:50). While T2 and T3 groups were fed diets included pepper vines (PV) at rate with 12.5 and 25% respectively and at the same previous rate of eggplant vines (EV) was offered to cow groups (T4 and T5), while T6 group was fed on combination of (PV+EV) at 12.5% for each one in replacing to (CH) in control ration, for 3 months as an experimental period. Results revealed that the digestion coefficients of all nutrients and feeding values were significantly (P<0.05) higher for T4 followed by T3 ration and then T2 one in comparison with the control group and the other tested rations. The results also indicated that the actual milk yield and 4% FCM were significantly higher in the treatments containing pepper vines at both levels (T2 and T3) as well as the treatment containing the lowest level of eggplant vines (T4) compared to those of control (T1) and the other tested rations (T5 and T6). The same trend was observed with the percentages of fat and protein in milk, where the treatments T2, T3 and T4 were distinguished in their content from the rest of the treatments, although there were no significant differences between all treatments. Also, in most cases, the rest of the milk components ratios (total solids, solids non-fat and lactose) are distinct in the aforementioned treatments compared to the rest of the other experimental treatments. Insignificant differences in feed intake and feed conversion were observed among the dietary treatments, except the value of the T6 respecting feed conversion that proved the poorest one significantly as DM: 4%-FCM. The results also recorded that the economic efficiency was marked improved in treatments T3 and T4 compared to the other groups. The highest concentrations of total protein and albumin in the blood were in the animals fed a low-level diet of eggplant vines (T4) compared to all treatments of the feeding experiment, and there were almost no significant differences between the treatments with regard to these measures. Therefore, the replacement of clover hay with pepper and eggplant vines up to 12.5% in dairy cow rations is highly recommended in the practical feeding of cows.