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Effect of dietary inclusion of date seed (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on intake, digestibility, milk production, and milk fatty acid profile of Holstein dairy cows

Rezaeenia, A., Naserian, A. A., Valizadeh, R., Tahmasbi, A. M., Mokhtarpour, A.
Tropical animal health and production 2018 v.50 no.7 pp. 1427-1433
Holstein, Phoenix dactylifera, adverse effects, alfalfa hay, corn silage, dairy cows, diet, digestibility, experimental design, fatty acid composition, forage, lactating females, lactation, milk, milk fatty acids, milk yield, vaccenic acid, wheat bran
The objective of this experiment was to investigate the influence of ground date seed (GDS) on intake, digestibility, and milk yield and milk fatty acid (FA) composition of lactating Holstein cows. The experimental design was a 4 × 4 replicated Latin square with eight lactating dairy cows with an average milk production of 35.5 ± 1.5 kg and 75 ± 5 days in milk (DIM). Dairy cows were fed one of the four treatments contained 0, 2, 4, and 6% of diet dry matter (DM) GDS in replacement of wheat bran. All diets contained the same amount of forages (alfalfa hay and corn silage). Dietary treatments had no effect on DM intake (DMI), total tract apparent digestibility, milk yield, and milk composition. Increasing GDS linearly decreased concentration of C13:0 and increased cis-9 C14:1 and trans-11 C18:1 (vaccenic acid) (P < 0.05). A linear tendency for more C16:1 content in milk fat was observed with increasing GDS (P = 0.06). Feeding GDS resulted in a linear decrease (P < 0.01) in saturated FA (SFA) but increased milk fat monounsaturated FA (MUFA) and trans FA (TFA) (P < 0.05). Therefore, low levels of GDS (up to 6%) in the diet of Holstein dairy cows can beneficially modify milk FA composition without any adverse effects on intake, digestibility, and milk yield.