Document Type : Original Article


Animal Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, 12613, Giza, Egypt


Twenty-four Barki male lambs (average LBW 25±2.1 kg) were randomly allocated into four similar groups (six lambs of each) to study the effect of partial replacement of yellow corn grains and wheat bran by mixture of date pits and soybean meal (DPSBM; DP 88.64%: SBM 11.6%) and decrease the feed cost. The Lambs were fed four iso-caloric iso-nitrogenous rations; G1 (control), G2. G3 and G4 were included 10, 20 and 30% of DPSBM respectively) for 90 days to investigate the effect of this replacements on growth performance, digestibility, rumen, and blood measurements, and on economic efficiency. The results showed that partial substitution of yellow corn grains and wheat bran by DPSBM (G2, G3 and G4) insignificantly (P > 0.05) affected nutrients digestibility of CF, EE, NDF, ADF, NFE and nutritive value as a TDN compared to control (G1). However, digestibility of DM, OM, CP, and nutritive value as DCP were highest in G1 than other groups and the difference between the other groups (G2, 3 and 4) were not significant (P>0.05). The values of pH and TVFA´s among groups were insignificantly (P>0.05) affected, however the effect on NH3-N was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) decreased by increasing the replacement levels of DPSBM and G1 had the highest value compared to other groups. All blood parameters were in normal range for sheep. The values of total protein, albumin and the AST were not significantly (P>0.05) affected. The urea level of the G1 was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower compared to all groups. The creatinine values of G2, G3 and G4 were significantly (P<0.05) higher than control group. The ALT level of the control group was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower than the other groups. Average daily live body weight gain (g/h/d) in G1, 2 and 3 was approximately equals but G4 (30% DPSBM) showed the lowest value (162 g/h/d) compared to other groups. Feed intake (kg/h/d) as fed, DM, OM and CP decrease by increasing the replacement levels of DPSBM compared to control group. Feed conversion ratio (kg DMI/ kg gain) at G2 (20% DPSBM) was superior to the other experimental rations and it was 6.62 compared to 6.78 (control) and 6.72 (G1, 10% DPSBM) wherever G4 achieved the lower value (7.72).  The cost of one ton of CFM was lower by 3.9%, 7.8% and 11.7 % in G2, G3 and G4 respectively than cost of CFM of (G1). TMR price (LE/kg) and total feed cost (LE/h/d) also decreased by increasing the replacement levels. The result showed that feed cost (LE) for producing 1Kg of gain in G2 and 3 were better than the cost in control group and G4 showed the highest cost compared to other groups and this reflect in the value of REE (%) / 1kg gain, daily gain income (LE/h) and REE (%) /h/d.  It can be concluded that DPSBM can be utilized effectively in the ration at replacement percentage of 10-20% of yellow corn grains and wheat bran without adversely effecting growth performance, digestibility blood metabolites and rumen parameters of Barki lambs. Whereas substitution of DPSMB by 30% reduced animal performance and profitability. The low price of DP or the mix of DPSBM compared with yellow corn grains and wheat bran make the partial substitution economically advantageous.