Exploring new alternative sources of feedstuffs can contribute to animal production sustainability in some Mediterranean regions in order to overcome the rising food demand. The influence of dietary replacement of wheat straw (WS) with orange waste silage (OWS) on nutrient intakes, apparent digestibility, ruminal fermentation and blood biochemical constituents and milk production of dairy goats were evaluated. Forty pregnant goats (46.30±1.6 kg BW) were housed in individual pens in a completely randomized design and fed (ad libitum) a TMR for 75 days period. Goats were assigned to four experimental diets with the forage amounts consisting of either WS as a control diet (1000 g WS/kg DM in the TMR), a 50:50 mixture of both WS and OWS (500 g WS and 500 g OWS/kg DM in the TMR), an orange waste silage (1000 g OWS/kg DM in the TMR) or corn silage as a positive control (1000 g CS/kg DM in the TMR). The DMI increased linearly (P<0.01), while fiber fractions intake decreased linearly (P<0.01) with increasing of OWS in the diet. Ruminal pH was increased quadratically (P<0.01), whereas NH3-N concentration and total protozoa abundance decreased quadratically (P<0.01) with increasing OWS in the diet. Ruminal acetate content was increased linearly (P = 0.012) by diet; whereas linear effects were observed on propionate and butyrate proportions (P<0.01) as OWS amount increased. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) levels decreased linearly (P<0.01) with ascending amounts of OWS. Serum glucose, BUN, NEFA and BHBA levels were lower (P<0.01) for goats fed the OWS diet than those fed the CS diet. Milk yield and milk nitrogen efficiency were linearly increased (P<0.01), whereas quadratic effects (P = 0.049) were observed on milk urea nitrogen content with increasing dietary OWS. In conclusion, the replacement of WS with OWS enhanced rumen fermentation and milk yield of late pregnant and early lactation Barki goats.
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