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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Chickpea in Substitution of Soybean Meal on Milk Production, Blood Profile and Reproductive Response of Primiparous Buffaloes in Early Lactation

1
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy
2
Scuola di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
3
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza Università 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030515 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives Protein in Animal Nutrition)
Currently, the protein needs of lactating buffaloes are mainly covered by soybean derivatives produced predominantly overseas. In order to promote the use of locally produced protein sources, in this study we tested the effects of total replacement of soybean meal by using chickpea meal, a protein-rich legume well adapted to and traditionally grown in the Mediterranean area. We evaluated the effects of these two alternative protein sources on blood profile, reproductive response and milk traits in primiparous buffaloes in early lactation. Based on our findings, chickpea meal does not impair the productive and reproductive performances of primiparous dairy buffaloes. In addition, chickpeas may represent a good alternative protein source for organic farms as it is not at risk of contamination by genetically modified cultivars.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the use of chickpea meal in substitution of soybean meal on plasma metabolites, reproductive response, milk yield and composition and milk coagulation traits of primiparous buffaloes in early lactation. Eighteen primiparous buffaloes were blocked by age, body weight and days in milk and equally allotted to two experimental groups from 10 to 100 days of lactation. The experimental diets consisted of the same forage integrated with two different isonitrogenous and isoenergetic concentrates containing either 210 g/kg of soybean meal or 371 g/kg chickpea. The use of chickpea meal had no negative effects on dry matter intake (p = 0.69), body condition score (p = 0.33) and milk yield (p = 0.15). Neither milk composition nor blood metabolites were influenced by dietary treatments (p > 0.05), but an increment of urea concentrations in milk (p < 0.05) and blood plasma (p < 0.001) were observed in buffaloes fed chickpeas. Moreover, no effect (p > 0.05) of the dietary treatment was highlighted on milk coagulation traits as well as buffalo reproductive responses. We concluded that soybean meal can be replaced by chickpea meal in the diet for primiparous dairy buffaloes in the early lactation period without impairing their productive and reproductive performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: chickpea; protein source replacer; primiparous Mediterranean buffalo; early lactation; milk traits; metabolic and reproductive responses chickpea; protein source replacer; primiparous Mediterranean buffalo; early lactation; milk traits; metabolic and reproductive responses
MDPI and ACS Style

Serrapica, F.; Masucci, F.; Romano, R.; Napolitano, F.; Sabia, E.; Aiello, A.; Di Francia, A. Effects of Chickpea in Substitution of Soybean Meal on Milk Production, Blood Profile and Reproductive Response of Primiparous Buffaloes in Early Lactation. Animals 2020, 10, 515.

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