Kochiaindica plant provides an important part of forage requirements for sheep and goat, particularly under saline conditions of Sinai, Egypt. However, this plant contained higher levels of some secondary metabolites which had negative effects on animal performance. Therefore, the present study aimed to improve the utilization of Kochiaindica plant by different feed additives to alleviate their adverse effect on animal's nutrition and subsequently their production. A digestibility trial was conducted using 12 adult rams which were divided into 3 groups (4 animals in each),then they were randomly distributed to fed three experimental silages the first group fedKochia silage (S1) without any feed additives as control ration , the second group fed Kochia silage mixed with 1% ammonium chloride (S2). The third group fedKochia silage mixed with 5% bentonite (S3). By the end of the digestibility trial, a feeding trial was conducted using39 pregnant Barki ewes. The ewes were selected and randomly distributed into three groups (13 in each). The same experimental rations of the digestibility trial were offered ad lib during the feeding trial. Data showed that, digestibility coefficients of all feed nutrients and nutritive values for S3were (p<0.05) improved compared toS1. Daily gain of lambs in group3 exceeded by 10% than their mates in group1 (S1). Liver and kidney function were slightly improved for ewes fed S2 and S3 compared to those fed S1. Blood calcium bioavailability was significantly increased for ewes fed ration contained bentonite(S3). It could be concluded that Kochia silage could provide available feed materials and solve the feed shortage under marginal conditions. Either ammonium chloride or bentonite addition to Kochia silage had desirable effects on nutrients digestion, blood calcium bioavailability, kidney and liver function and consequently on Barki ewes' performance and their offspring.
Key words: Kochia plant, feed additives, nutritive values, milk yield, milk composition, blood calcium levels, ewes.
Abstract published in International Journal of Advanced Research (2016), Volume 4, Issue 7, 2217-2224. DOI:10.21474/IJAR01.