Egypt is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to the potential impacts of climate change. High population density and growth and the rapid spread of unplanned urbanization place considerable pressures on the limited country’s land and water resources. In this respect, climate change studies predict a reduction in the productivity of two major crops in Egypt-wheat and maize by 15% and 19%, respectively by 2050 . Livestock is one of the fastest growing agricultural subsectors in developing countries. This growth is driven by the rapidly increasing demand for livestock products, this demand being driven by population growth, urbanization and increasing incomes in developing countries . The shortage of feedstuffs is one of the major limiting factors for increasing animal production. However, there are large quantities of non-utilized agriculture by-products such as olive cake. Incorporation of the cheap untraditional feedstuffs such as the agro-industrial by products in animal diets may participate in solving the problem of feed shortage, decrease the feeding cost and alleviate the pollution problems [3, 4]. In South Sinai, there is a great shortage in animal feedstuffs, while olive cake represents the majority of agro-industrial by-products. Large areas are cultivated by olive trees, especially in Sinai and the North-Western Coast Zone, therefore, there are great amounts of olive by products without beneficial usage and are considered as wastes. About 7440 ton of olive fruits are annually produced and about 640 ton olive cake remain after oil extraction . It has been estimated that each1000 kg of fresh olives 214 kg olive oil, 496 kg crude olive cake, 40 kg of leaves and 1633 kg of olive mill waste are produced . Olive cake for using in ruminant nutrition, but their use is limited because of their low nutritive value , high NDF and ADF , condensed tannins , seasonality  and low degradability of cell wall component [10,11]. On the other hand, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is the major cereal in many dry areas of the world and is vital for the livelihoods of many farmers and seem to be an annual cereal crop and grown in environments ranging from the desert of South Sinai Governorate. The cultivated area with barley crop was about 3583.41hectar which produce about 109132 ton of barley grains . In addition, barley assumes third position in total crop production in the South Sinai Governorate after olive and wheat; it can replace wheat as the dominant crop due to its tolerance to drought and salinity. Barley serves as a major animal fodder, base malt for beer and certain other distilled beverages. It is mainly grown for grain and straw for small ruminants during winter, with green fodder sometimes used for winter grazing. But the major limitations of these fibrous crop by-products or farm wastes are characterized by extensive lignification of the cellulose and the hemicellulose and low levels of protein, soluble carbohydrates and minerals . New sprouts technique can be used for green fodder production of many forage crops for production of fresh forage from oats, barley, corn, wheat and other grains . It is a well-known technique for high fodder yield, year round production and least water consumption . Sprouts fodder production requires only about 2-3% of that water used under field conditions to produce the same amount of fodder . Germination and sprouting activate enzymes that change the starch, protein, and lipids of the grain into simpler forms, for example, starch changes to sugars. There are some arguments about the sprouting grains for convenience of green forage production in sprouting system to compensate the feed resources for animals . Sprouting is a simple technique to germinate the seeds for the improvement of their nutritive value . This technology may be especially important in the regions where forage production is limited .
This work aimed to manage the use of available natural resources, minimize the water use and maximize the forage production for water and area unit while the introducing new technique with planting barley grains on different levels of olive cake and barley straw as media for forage production to secure the goat needs from feed under the arid areas in Egypt takes the priority.
Materials and methods
The present study was conducted at South Sinai Research Station located at Ras Sudr City, Desert Research Center (DRC) in South Sinai Governorate, Egypt.
Dried barley straw was collected from the Research Station Farm and chopped into 2-3 cm and olive cake also, was obtained of olive mills with Ras Sudr City and used as bedding media.
Production method for grains sprouts was tray method as described by  using about 5-7 cm thick layer of barley straw and olive cake as sprouting media. Cereal grains of local barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) were cleaned from debris and other foreign materials. Then the cleaned seeds were surface sterilized by soaking for 30 minutes in a 2% sodium hypochlorite solution to prevent the formation of mould. Planting trays and the growing cabinet also were cleaned and disinfected. The seeds were washed well from residues of bleach and re- soaked in tap water overnight (about 12 hours) before sowing. At the end of soaking period soaked seeds were spread evenly on the top of media. Germination period on the media surface lasted about 15 days to get shoot sprouts, shoot length was 20-23 cm and seeding rate used in this experiment was about 15% density of roughage. Planting trays were irrigated with tap water once a day early in the morning to provide enough water to keep the seeds/ seedlings moist.
A trail conducted to show the performance of sprouted barley grain on tested roughages media by fodder yield and conversion ratio values.
Twenty five desert male goats (20 months old) with average 22.50±2.5kg live body weight and fed free in feedlot. The animals were randomly divided into five groups of (5 animals each) and fed one of following treatments:
G1: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hay (control).
G2: sprouted barley grains on 75% olive cake (OC) + 25% barley straw (BS) ad libitum.
G3: sprouted barley grains on 50% olive cake (OC) + 50% barley straw (BS) ad libitum.
G4: sprouted barley grains on 25% olive cake (OC) + 75% barley straw (BS) ad libitum.
G5: sprouted barley grains on 100% barley straw (BS) ad libitum.
All goats were housed in individual shaded pens and fed sprouted green fodder (SGF) ad libitum. Thirteen day adaptation period followed by 5 days collection period. During the collection period, fecal and urine samples were collected daily (10% by weight of daily samples). Daily water intake was calculated and recorded. Combined water was calculated as fresh-dry diet ml/kg BW. Metabolic water was calculated from TDN intake a yield of 0.6 gm water per gm. TDN . At the end of collection period of the metabolism trial, rumen liquor was sampled by stomach tube at 0, 3 and 6 hours after feeding; blood samples were taken from jugular vein after feeding.
The best treated groups from the results of digestibility trail were used to conduct the feeding trail. Seven desert male goats (with average 22.56±0.425kg live body weight and fed sprouted green fodder. The animals were randomly divided into three groups (7 animals each) and fed one following treatments: (G1, G2 and G3) with concentrate feed mixture (CFM) to cover 40% of their maintenance energy requirements (according to the recommendations of . Concentrate feed mixture contained: 94.28 DM, 91.07 OM, 14.13 CP, 7.01 CF, 2.01 EE, 8.93 Ash, 67.88 NFE, 17.39 GE, MJ/kg DM, 62.34 NDF, 9.57 ADF, 52.77 hemicellulose and 37.66 C.CHO (as % DM basis). Animals were weighed on biweekly basis. Nutrient requirements were adjusted to the changing in the body weight every two weeks drinking water was available to the animals.
Proximate chemical analysis for all feed ingredients, refusals, fecal samples and urine were determined according to . Fiber fraction (NDF and ADF) were determined according to . Rumen total volatile fatty acids (TVFA's) were tested  and ammonia nitrogen values were also evaluated . Sodium (Na) and potassium (K) were determined in feed, refusal, feces, urine and drinking water by using the standard flame photometry . Blood serum samples were assayed for total protein  and albumin . Globulin was obtained by subtracting the albumin values from the total proteins values. Serum creatinine  and urea  were determined too. All blood serum analysis was measured using Jenway spectrophotometer (UK) and using.
General linear model procedure was used for statistical analysis through . The used design was one way analysis differences in mean values between groups were compared by .
Results and discussion
Laboratory study: Data of Table 1 showed that chemical compositions of dried olive cake (OC) were 7.76% CP, 38.77% CF, 4.52% EE and 421.00 GE MJ/kg DM. These results were in agreement with those, obtained by  and  they recorded that CP in OC ranged between 7-8%, CF ranged between 28-31%, 1-6% ether extract, 6-7% crude ash, 67-72% NDF, 60-61% ADF, 31-32% ADL and 28-29% hemicelluloses. Chemical compositions of dried barley straw (BS) were 3.50% CP, 36.00% CF, 1.04% EE and 364.80 GE MJ/kg DM, which are in similar trend with those found by  they recorded that CP in dried BS was 4.10%, CF 33.0% and 6.60 ME MJ/kg DM. Results in Table 1 revealed that sprouting barley grains on OC as a media had increased CP content from 7.76 to 12.60%, C.CHO from 36.58 to 43.55 and ash from 7.07 to 9.95%, while decreased OM content from 92.93 to 90.05%, CF from 38.77 to 33.43%, NDF from 63.42 to 56.45%, and ADF from 49.33 to 42.87% as compared with unsprouted OC. On the other hand, sprouting barley grains on BS as a media had improved CP content from 3.50 to 8.11%, EE from 1.04 to 1.35%, C.CHO from 20.21 to 32.02 and ash content from 14.68 to 19.32% while decreased OM content from 85.32 to 80.68%, CF from 36.00 to 27.52%, NDF from 79.79 to 67.98%, and ADF from 49.00 to 38.09% as compared with non-sprouted BS. Researchers in many ways demonstrated that CP increased in sprouting technique;  reported that CP content was increased from 10.8 (at day 4) to 14.9% (at day 8) in hydroponically barley fodder that were in accordance with our findings.  reported that CP content was increased from 14.32 (at day 6) to 20.04% (at day 8) in hydroponically barley fodder. Also, similar results are in the same trend with those found by [36, 37, 38] and  they recorded that sprouted barley grains on roughage media had improved the chemical compositions of roughage media compared with un-sprouted roughages. The opinion of  may explain that the sprouting of grains causes increased enzyme activity, a loss of total DM, an increase in total protein, a change in amino acid composition, a decrease in starch, increases in sugars, a slight increase in crude fat and crude fiber and slightly higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Most of the increases in nutrients are not true increases; they simply reflect the loss of DM mainly in the form of carbohydrates due to respiration during sprouting. As total carbohydrates decreases, the percentage of other nutrients increases.
Table 1: Chemical composition and cell wall constituents of none sprouted and sprouted media (% on DM basis)
Conversion ratio of sprouted barley grain on tested roughages:
Data of conversion ratio (amount of fresh fodder produced per unit of seed used) (Fig. 1) revealed that sprouted barley grains on barley straw (SBS) had best significantly (P≤0.05) values of CP, EE, NFE and C.CHO being 2.34,1.30, 0.98 and 1.58 times; respectively, compared with SBG and SOC. It was clear that the conversion ratio (CR) values assumed for CF, NDF, ADF, ADL, Cellulose and Hemicellulose of SBS and SOC were (P≤0.05) lower than that of SBG. While there were no significant differences in CR of GE values between the tested media. Similar results are obtained by [37, 38, 39]. The results are also in conformity with  who reported that fresh weight of green fodder increased about 4.5 times of the original seed weight after sprouting barley grain. This ratio depended on several factors such as management, type and quality of grain, amount and frequency of irrigation, nutritious solution, temperature, humidity, density and position of lights, bulk of seeds on each tray and number of days allowed to grow [43,44].
Fig. 1: Nutrients conversion performance of sprouted barley grain on tested roughages media
Chemical composition of the tested rations:
The chemical compositions of different rations are shown in Table 2.There were wide variations between the chemical composition of the four sprouted mixtures fodder (G2, G3, G4 and G5) and alfalfa (G1). G2 contained the highest (P≤0.05) values of OM, CP, CF, EE, ADL, cellulose, C.CHO, GE, sodium % and potassium % compared with other rations (G3, G4 and G5). On the other hand, lowest (P≤0.05) values of OM, CP, EE, C.CHO, GE, sodium % and potassium % were recorded by G5. While alfalfa (G1) had higher (P≤0.05) OM, CP, EE, C.CHO, GE, sodium % and potassium % compared than the four sprouted mixtures fodder. The improvement in sprouted mixtures may be attributed to increase the activity of sprouted barley seed hydrolytic enzymes which catabolized starch to soluble sugars for use in respiration and cell-wall synthesis during the germination and early stage of plant growing and lead to improvements in chemical composition of olive cake and barley straw .This results were agreement with [36,37,38,39]. The increase in EE could be due to the production of chlorophyll associated with plant growth . Generally, changes affected the proportion of the other nutrients such as protein that could be shown a higher percentage .
Table 2: Chemical composition and cell wall constituents of experimental feeds (% on DM basis) Rations
Nutrient digestion coefficients and nutritive values:
Dry matter intake (DMI g/kg BW), digestion coefficients and nutritive values are presented in Table 3. Goats fed alfalfa (G1) recorded the highest DMI. The results are also in conformity with  who reported that animals received the control diet had higher (P≤0.05) dry matter intake than those fed sprouted barley green fodder. Differences in DMI between treatments (G2, G3, G4 and G5) were significant. It is clearly indicated that animals fed G2 (sprouting barley seeds on75% olive cake + 25% barley straw) recorded the highest (P≤0.05) digestibility coefficients of CP, CF, EE, NDF and hemicellulose compared with other groups. Highest digestibility coefficients of CP was recorded by animals fed G2 and G1 (80.78 and 79.47% respectively) with no differences between G3 and G4 and the lowest (P≤0.05) digestibility coefficients of CP was recorded by G5. This may be attributed to fresh grains sprouts have been reported to have highly soluble protein and amino acids in response to the enzymatic transformations during early plant growth [47, 48]. Highest (P≤0.05) digestibility coefficients of DM, OM, NFE, ADF and C.CHO recorded by goat fed on G2 compared with G3, G4 and G5. Sprouting barley seeds on our four studied mixtures had the highest (P≤0.05) values in digestibility coefficients of EE compared with animals fed G1. This may be attributed to increase in the bioactive catalysts which assist in the digestion and metabolism of feeds and the release of energy. Similar results were reported by  who found that feeding sprouted grains provided animals with living feed which has a rich supply of enzymes which results in all nutritional components being highly digestible and extremely nutritious. Generally, digestibility coefficients of all nutrients were significantly (P≤0.05) higher in sprouted barley seeds on our four studied mixtures. Similar trends were observed by [36, 37, 38, 39] who found that the digestibility coefficients of all nutrients for sprouted barley were higher than that of untreated. Nutritive values expressed as TDN g/kg BW, TDN %, DCP g/kg BW, DCP % and ME Mcal/kg DM, a significant differences (P≤0.05) was detected among groups. Nutritive values were higher in animals fed G1 and G2 followed by G3, G4 and the lowest values were in G5. Highest DCP g/kg BW (5.17) and DCP % (10.09) were recorded by G1 followed by G2 compared with other studied rations. On the other hand, lowest values were recorded by G4 and G5 were considered as fair values of DCP % being 7.86 and 6.98%; respectively. These results may be attributed to low CP digestibility coefficients of animals fed G4 and G5. Similar results are in the same trend with those found by [36, 37, 38, 39]. Who found that nutritive values are improved when sprouted barley on treated roughage media than those for untreated roughages.  reported that this improvement of nutritive value of barley were due to the activation of endogenous enzyme β-glucanase by water treatment which limited the activity of glucans.
Table 3: Dry matter intake, digestion coefficients and nutritive values by goats fed the experimental sprouted fodder
Nitrogen and minerals utilization:
Data of N-balance recorded for the five experimental groups are reported in Table 4. Nitrogen utilization (mg/kg/BW) was affected significantly (P≤0.05) by sprouting barley seeds on the four studied mixtures. Nitrogen intake (NI) was significantly (P≤0.05) higher in G1 (1175.27) followed by G2 (963.69) while the lowest was recorded for G5 (758.99). The higher nitrogen intake may due to high content of crude protein in alfalfa (G1) and sprouted mixture G2 (Table, 2). Goats fed G4 and G5 had highest (P≤0.05) fecal nitrogen compared with other groups. While animals fed G1 had significant (P≤0.05) higher amounts of urinary nitrogen and total N excretion compared with other groups. Animals fed the four sprouted mixture recorded higher significantly (P≤0.05) of N balance compared with G1 (control group). This finding may be related to higher improvement in CP intake and its digestibility in sprouted mixtures compared with other experimental forages. Agreement results were reported by [36, 37, 38, 39]. Data on Na and K utilization revealed that Na intake, excretion and balance (g/kg BW) were varied significantly (P≤0.05) among the experimental groups. The highest (P≤0.05) values of Na and K intake and excretion were for G1. However, no significant differences in Na and K balance (g/kg BW) between the five experimental groups. After sprouting and the depletion of nutrients from original seeds; roots plants that absorb nutrients from the media for the continued growth and life which leads to reduced organic matter of the media with increase the minerals. Also  found that ash content of sprouts increased from 2.1in original seed to 5.3 at 8 day with increasing trace minerals.
Table 4: Nitrogen N, Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K) utilizations for goats fed the experimental roughages
Data of Table 5 showed that water intake (in terms of drinking, combined and metabolic water) were varied (P≤0.05) significantly among animal groups. Water intakes was (P≤0.05) higher in goats fed G1 compared with the four sprouted groups; however, goats in G2, G3, G4 and G5 tended to consume comparable amounts of water without significant differences. The highest amount of total water consumption was recorded (160.10 ml/kg/BW) for goats fed G1 compared with other groups. It may be due to increasing dry matter intake (Table 3) and high content of sodium and potassium % (Table 2) in alfalfa fed to goats (G1). Goats fed G1 had highest significant values of total water excreted (112.63) with no significant differences among sprouted groups G2, G3, G4 and G5. These findings are in agreement [52, 36, 37, 38, 39] on animals fed similar dietary rations. They reported that feeding animals salt tolerant fodders of high ash content led to push animals to increase excretion of urine.
Table 5: Water balance (ml/kg/BW) of goats fed the sprouted fodders.
Data of rumen pH, total volatile fatty acids (TVFA, s) and ammonia-nitrogen are presented in Table 6. It was clear that goats fed G2 recorded the highest significant overall pH value (6.55) compared to the other experimental groups. The highest significant value of (6.68) overall pH was obtained before feeding compared to time of post feeding. Rumen total volatile fatty acids (TVFA, s) revealed that sprouted barley grains increased TVFA, s concentrations in the rumen, which increased after feeding and reaches its peak after 3 hr. post feeding. There was a significant (P≤ 0.05) increase in overall total volatile fatty acids (TVFA, s) concentrations; where animals fed on G2 showed the greatest values being 8.63 meq/100ml followed by those fed on G1 (7.71), G3 (7.60), G4 (6.63) and G5 (5.73). It might be a reflection to rich energy and organic matter of fodder fed to small ruminants that provided higher concentrations of rumen metabolites which naturally improved rumen function and digestibility . The increase in TVFA, s concentration with sprouted barley may be due to that sprouts provide a good supply of vitamins, enzymes which serve as bioactive catalysts to assist in metabolism of feed and the release of energy [49, 36, 37, 38, 39].
Goats fed G1 recorded the highest significant overall ammonia-nitrogen value (31.06 mg/100ml) compared with other experimental groups. This is may be due to its high content of CP and highest CP intake for animals fed this group . Other researchers reported an increase in rumen ammonia N with increase in CP supplementation [55, 56]. Values of TVFA, s and ammonia-nitrogen were significantly higher post feeding with 3 hours.
Data of serum constituents of studied goats as affected by sprouting barley seeds on studied mixtures are given in Table 7. Total protein (g/dl), creatinine (mg/dl), albumin (g/dl), globulin (g/dl) and Serum urea-N were significantly (P≤0.05) elevated by treatments. Goats fed G1 increased (P≤0.05) serum total proteins, albumin, globulin, creatinine and Serum urea-N compared with other experimental groups. The highest level of globulin by sprouted barely treatments may indicated good developed immunity status . This is in accordance with those reported by  who found a positive correlation between dietary protein and plasma protein concentration. Also, means of serum creatinin increased significantly (P≤0.05) with G1. This was probably due to the high level of CP content in G1. The lowest value of serum urea and creatinin were recorded by G5. These results are in harmony with those reported by [36, 37, 38, 39]. Additionally,  induced that integration with hydroponically germinating oat in partial substitution of the complete feed does not modify biochemical and hematological parameters and seems to produce an improvement in animal.
Table 6: Ruminal fermentation parameters for goats fed experimental rations
Table 7: Blood plasma constituents of the experimental groups
Sprouted fodder yield and conversion ratio:
Data in Table 8 shows that average green fodder yield were significantly (P≤0.05) increased in all tested media. The amount of green fodder yield ranged from 3608.33 to 2906.67 kg per 150 kg of barley grain plus 1000 g of tested media. Sprouted barley grains on 75% olive cake + 25% barley straw (SB1) showed the greatest values of average green fodder yield being 3608.33 kg., followed by those in SB2 (3195.00 kg), SB3 (2995.00 kg) and SB4 (2906.67 kg). This increase in fresh weight of fodder was due to uptake of water during germination of the seeds, resulted in a sharply reducing of DM percentage in green, [37, 38, 39]. Dry fodder yield was significantly (P≤0.05) higher in SB1 (1593.24) followed by SB2 (1317.46) while the lowest was recorded for SB4 (1080.01). These results were in accordance with those of [35, 60] who reported a significant difference in wet weight and dry weight of the sprouted green fodder. SB1 recorded the highest yield of CP, TDN, DCP and number of goats fed in SB1 for maintenance/ 90 days compared with tested media. Percent of conversion ratio CR (amount of fresh fodder produced per unit of seed used) were significantly (P≤0.05) increased in all tested media. SB1 had best significantly (P≤0.05) values of CR in fresh fodder yield (3.14 times) and dry fodder yield (1.38 times) compared with other tested media. The results are also in conformity with  who reported that fresh weight of green fodder increased about 4.5 times of the original seed weight after sprouting barley grain. This ratio depended on several factors such as management, type and quality of grain, amount and frequency of irrigation, nutritious solution, temperature, humidity, density and position of lights, bulk of seeds on each tray and number of days allowed to grow [43, 44].
Animals performance of the experimental groups:
Goats performance of the experimental group is presented in Table 9. The results showed that dietary treatment had no significant effect (P>0.05) on body weight changes and average daily gain. However, final body weight was significantly (P≤0.05) higher in G1 (27.09) followed by G2 (26.94) while the lowest was recorded for G3 (25.97). These results agree with data showed by [36, 37]. The increase in weight gain of goats received barley sprouts may attribute to enhancing of microbial activity in the rumen . Inclusion sprouted mixture (G1 and G2) in goats ration significantly improved (P<0.05) feed conversion ratio (gm intake of DM and TDN/gm gain). These results agree with data showed by [61, 36, 37]. Also, feed conversion was more with goats fed G2 compared with other groups. Feeding animals green forage from sprouting which has simpler forms of vitamin, starch, protein and lipids might affect the animals performance [46, 62].
Table 8: Nutrients yield of sprouted barley grains on tested roughages media and conversion ratio after germination (Means ± SE)
Table 9: Body weights, daily gain and feed conversion of goats fed the experimental roughages Items
Economic evaluation of the experimental rations:
Economic efficiency was represented by daily profit over feed cost. The costs were based on market price for feeds and live body weight. Feeding costs and profit above feeding costs are shown in Table (10). Feeding on barley sprouted mixture (G2 and G3) in goats ration lead to decrease total daily feeding costs of experimental rations by (34.57 and 36.17% respectively) in comparison with the control diet (G1). Meanwhile, daily profit above feeding cost were improved by goats fed on sprouted mixture (G2 and G3) with percent (90.77 and 86.15% respectively) compared to the control diet (G1). Feed cost LE/ gm gain was improved by goats fed on G2 and G3 with percent (34.15 and 32.52% respectively) in compared to control diet. Relative economical efficiency was improved by 90.77% in G2 comparison with the control diet. These results were in agreement with those obtained by [36, 37] who found that the lowest feeding cost and the highest profit were recorded for lambs fed diets contained sprouted barley grains on roughage media. [63, 64, 65] who found that the lowest feeding cost and the highest profit were recorded for lambs fed diets contained biological treated SBP, especially when fed on level of 40% from concentrate feed mixture.
Table 10: Economic evaluation of the experimental ration.
It could be concluded that sprouted barley on agriculture by-products, especially in arid season to produce green fodder high nutritive value for the animals and environment-friendly as well as reduce the cost of feeding by utilizing agro-industrial by-products (olive cake) and barley straw by simple methodology using crop sprouts and solving the problem of feed shortage, alleviate the pollution problems of agro-industrial by-products.
This article was originally published in Advances in Environmental Biology, 9(22) Special 2015, Pages: 91-102.