Topical Collection "A Sustainable Approach to Non-Conventional Feeding Resources and Rearing Strategies"

A topical collection in Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This collection belongs to the section "Animal Nutrition".

Editors

Prof. Biagina Chiofalo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Messina, 98122 Messina, Italy
Interests: animal production; animal nutrition; organic farming; dairy science
Prof. Dr. Serena Calabrò
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production (DMVPA), University of Napoli Federico II, via F. Delpino 1 - 80137, Napoli, Italy
Interests: nutrition and feeding of various animal; evaluation of feeds and by-products; feeding plans in livestock animals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global agriculture is facing two challenges: ensuring adequate food production for an ever-increasing human population, and protecting natural resources. Due to the growing demand for animal products, there is a need to design new livestock production systems that allow the combination of food security and environmental sustainability. The livestock sector is of great importance to support rural economies and pastoral ecosystems; in this context, local breeds appear to be a significant component of sustainable agriculture, thanks to their excellent adaptation to specific environmental conditions and to their traditional products that are unique and part of cultural heritage. Moreover, studies on non-conventional feeding resources are strategically important not only because they decrease the marked deficit of feedstuff, but also because they could increase the sustainability of crop-livestock systems. Recently, some non-conventional feeding resources have also been considered as an interesting and promising alternative source for agriculture in human and animal nutrition, owing to the controversy related to the use of genetically modified organisms. Given the wide agroecological biodiversity across the world, the aim of this Special Issue is to explore new strategies to increase the sustainability of rural economies.

Prof. Biagina Chiofalo
Prof. Serena Calabrò
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • feeding resources
  • rearing strategies
  • livestock production
  • sustainability
  • product valorization
  • food quality
  • traceability
  • biodiversity

Published Papers (25 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2019

Review
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed and Co-Products Inclusion in Diets for Dairy Ruminants: A Review
Animals 2021, 11(3), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030856 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 922
Abstract
Recently, hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) was rediscovery as a plant that offers a wide variety of applications (textile, pharmaceuticals, construction, etc.), including also the use in animal and human nutrition. The inclusion of whole seeds and co-products obtained by processing of seeds [...] Read more.
Recently, hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) was rediscovery as a plant that offers a wide variety of applications (textile, pharmaceuticals, construction, etc.), including also the use in animal and human nutrition. The inclusion of whole seeds and co-products obtained by processing of seeds (cake, meal, and oil) in the diets of farm animals can allow the transfer of bioactive substances to human food. Few publications are available on the use of hemp in dairy ruminants but some authors reported a positive effect on the fatty acids profile of milk and cheese with an increase of n-3 fatty acids and c9,t11 conjugated linoleic acid. The protein content, amino acids profile, and rumen undegradable protein (RUP) of hempseed and co-products of hemp appear interesting and suitable for ruminant nutrition. Negative effects of anti-nutritional factors (i.e., phytate) are not observed. However, the researches on the effects of the use of hempseed and co-products in diets for dairy ruminants do not allow to suggest optimal levels of inclusion. In addition, no data are published on the use of whole or part of the hemp plant as forage, as another possibility to use the hemp in the perspective of the circular economy. Full article
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Article
Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Immunobiotic Lactiplantibacillusplantarum N14 Fermented Rakkyo (Allium chinense) Pickled Juice on the Immunocompetence and Production Performance of Pigs
Animals 2021, 11(3), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030752 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Rakkyo (Allium chinense), is a Japanese leek that is primarily used to make a popular sweet or sour pickled dish. Lactic acid bacteria are often involved in the preparation steps of fermented pickles, which helps in the effective preservation of the [...] Read more.
Rakkyo (Allium chinense), is a Japanese leek that is primarily used to make a popular sweet or sour pickled dish. Lactic acid bacteria are often involved in the preparation steps of fermented pickles, which helps in the effective preservation of the natural bioactive compounds of fruits and vegetable, and thereby exert several health benefits including immunomodulation and growth performance. This work aimed to evaluate the in vivo effects of adding Lactiplantibacillus plantarum N14 fermented rakkyo pickled juice as feed supplement on the immunocompetence and production performance of pigs. We first analyzed the nutritional composition, which revealed that the proportion of protein, lipid, and water-soluble fiber content were estimated as of 4%, 5%, and 5% in rakkyo residual liquid or juice, while 22%, 15% and 14%, respectively, were estimated in rakkyo residual powder. For the in vivo feeding trials, three groups of pigs were treated either with 5%, 20%, or 40% mixture (v/v) of fermented rakkyo pickled juice and the grinded residual liquid supplemented in the drinking water in addition to standard feed. The results of the feeding trials showed that the administration of a juice mixture of 5% or 20% (fermented pickled juice and residual liquid) had a similar trend of effects in improving the complement activity, phagocytic activity and leucocytes counts in the peripheral blood when compared to pigs fed with 40% mixture or untreated controls. Those changes were related to an improved resistance to enteric infections. Moreover, animals receiving a mixture of fermented pickled juice and fermented rakkyo residues had a higher growth rate and carcass quality than controls. The results suggested that the use of 5% mixture of fermented rakkyo pickled juice and the residual liquid through drinking water could be a cost-effective approach to promote the immune-health and production performance of pigs. This approach would contribute not only to the sustainable management of food wastes but also to the application of a value-added feed supplement for the promotion of animal health and production. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Increasing Neutral Detergent Fiber Level through Different Fiber Feed Ingredients throughout the Gestation of Sows
Animals 2021, 11(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020415 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of increasing dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels on pregnant sows, and to select the best feed ingredients based on reproductive performance, plasma biochemistry parameters, colostrum and milk composition, and nutrient digestibility. Seventy-two [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of increasing dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels on pregnant sows, and to select the best feed ingredients based on reproductive performance, plasma biochemistry parameters, colostrum and milk composition, and nutrient digestibility. Seventy-two multiparous sows were randomly allotted to six dietary treatment groups (n = 12). The feeding of chicory meal (CM), wheat bran (WB), corn gluten, and rice bran meal (RBM) increased the average weaning weight of piglets compared with the control (CON) group (p < 0.05). Supplementation with CG diet increased the sow BW, weight gain, and back fat thickness compared with WB and RBM on day 107 of gestation (p < 0.05). Furthermore, Supplementation with CG diet resulted in lower plasma urea nitrogen (PUN) and higher total protein (TP) concentrations in plasma (p < 0.05). Feeding CM diet and soybean curd residue (SCR) diet reduced the total protein and globulin, and supplementation with CM diet significantly increased the PUN (p < 0.05). The apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of crude protein (CP), crude fat (EE), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) were decreased following the addition of CM, WB, or SCR to the diets (p < 0.05). The ATTD of NDF and ADF were significantly increased in the CG group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the feeding of CG diet to sows have an excellent effect. Full article
Article
Feeding Value Assessment of Substituting Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Residue for Concentrate of Dairy Cows Using an In Vitro Gas Test
Animals 2021, 11(2), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020307 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
The feeding value of replacing concentrate with cassava (Manihot esculenta) residue in the feed of Holstein cows was confirmed using an in vitro gas test. The treatments consisted of 0% (control, CON), 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% inclusion of [...] Read more.
The feeding value of replacing concentrate with cassava (Manihot esculenta) residue in the feed of Holstein cows was confirmed using an in vitro gas test. The treatments consisted of 0% (control, CON), 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% inclusion of cassava residue in fermentation culture medium composed of buffer solution (50 mL) and filtrated rumen fluid (25 mL). The parameters analyzed included the kinetics of gas production and fermentation indexes. Forty-eight hours later, there were no significant differences on in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), pH, and microbial crude protein (MCP) content among treatments (p > 0.05). However, the “cumulative gas production at 48 h” (GP48), the “asymptotic gas production” (A), and the “maximum gas production rate” (RmaxG) all increased linearly or quadratically (p < 0.01). The GP48 was significantly higher in the 25% treatment compared to the other treatments, except for the 30% (p < 0.01). The A was significantly larger in the 25% treatment compared to the other treatments, except for the 20% and 30% (p < 0.01). The RmaxG was distinctly larger in the 25% treatment compared to other treatments (p < 0.01); moreover, the “time at which RmaxG is reached” (TRmaxG) and the “time at which the maximum rate of substrate degradation is reached” (TRmaxS) were significantly higher in the 25% treatment than the CON, 20%, and 30% treatments (p < 0.01). Additionally, the content of ammonia-N (NH3-N) in all treatments showed linearly and quadratically decreases (p < 0.01), whereas total volatile fatty acid (VFA), iso-butyrate, butyrate, and iso-valerate contents changed quadratically (p = 0.02, p = 0.05, p = 0.01, and p = 0.02, respectively); all of these values peaked in the 25% treatment. In summary, the 25% treatment was associated with more in vitro gas and VFA production, indicating that this cassava residue inclusion level may be used to replace concentrate in the feed of Holstein cows. However, these results need to be verified in vivo. Full article

2020

Jump to: 2021, 2019

Article
The Effect of Replacing Wildrye Hay with Mulberry Leaves on the Growth Performance, Blood Metabolites, and Carcass Characteristics of Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112018 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of partially substituting for conventional forage, Chinese wildrye (CW), with mulberry leaves (ML) on the growth, digestion, ruminal fermentation, blood metabolites, and meat quality of sheep in a 65-day feedlot study. Thirty-two four-month-old [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of partially substituting for conventional forage, Chinese wildrye (CW), with mulberry leaves (ML) on the growth, digestion, ruminal fermentation, blood metabolites, and meat quality of sheep in a 65-day feedlot study. Thirty-two four-month-old male small-tailed Han sheep (25.15 ± 1.03 kg) were randomly assigned to one of four treatments. The dietary treatments consisted of four proportions of ML (0, 8, 24, and 32%) as a substitute for CW (designated as ML0, ML8, ML24, and ML32, respectively). Rumen digesta and blood samples were collected at day 63 of the trial. Carcass traits were assessed after slaughter at the end of performance period. The results from this study revealed no differences in average daily bodyweight gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and final body weight (FBW) among treatments. The apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) was higher in the sheep fed with ML than in those fed CW. The ML24 treatment had a higher digestibility of crude protein (CP) and ether extract (EE). There were no differences (p = 0.13) in ruminal pH values among the treatments. However, there was more microbial protein (p < 0.01) in ML24 and ML32 treatments than the ML0 treatment. Ruminal concentrations of acetate and butyrate were significantly different among treatments, although no difference in concentrations of total volatile fatty acid were found. Additionally, no differences were detected for serum parameters except blood urea nitrogen (BUN). No differences were observed for carcass weight (p = 0.62), dressing percentage (p = 0.31) or longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) area (p = 0.94) among treatments. However, intramuscular fat was higher in the ML24 treatment than in the ML0 treatment. (p < 0.01). There were higher pH values of the 24-h longissimus dorsi in the ML24 treatment than in the ML0 treatment. In addition, the saturated fatty acid (SFA) content was lower (p < 0.01) and the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content higher (p < 0.01) in the ML24 treatment than in the ML0 treatment. In conclusion, the partially substitution of mulberry leaves for Chinese wildrye in the diet of sheep had a beneficial influence on the growth performance, blood metabolites and carcass characteristics. The inclusion of 24% (air dry basis) mulberry leaf hay in the ration of sheep is recommended based on these findings. Full article
Article
Effects of Feeding Dried Fruit Pomaces as Additional Fibre-Phenolic Compound on Meat Quality, Blood Chemistry and Redox Status of Broilers
Animals 2020, 10(11), 1968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10111968 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
The present study investigated the effects of apple (A), blackcurrant (B) and strawberry (S) dried pomaces on meat quality, blood chemistry and redox status of broiler chickens. A total of 480 Ross-308 male broilers were divided into 8 dietary treatments containing 3% and [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the effects of apple (A), blackcurrant (B) and strawberry (S) dried pomaces on meat quality, blood chemistry and redox status of broiler chickens. A total of 480 Ross-308 male broilers were divided into 8 dietary treatments containing 3% and 6% of cellulose preparation (C), A, B or S. Six birds/group were slaughtered at 35 days of age and blood samples were collected. Carcass traits and meat quality were determined on the Pectoralis major muscles, recording nonsignificant differences. Antioxidant activity was evaluated in serum, liver and breast muscle. In serum, fruit pomaces lowered triglycerides, creatinine and atherogenic index (p < 0.05). Regarding redox status, in serum, ACW (antioxidant capacity of water-soluble substances) and ACL (antioxidant capacity of lipid-soluble substances) were greater in A (p < 0.001). In breast, ACW and ACL were higher in B and S compared to C (p < 0.05). In liver, ACL was greater in B and S compared to C (p < 0.001) and in higher dosage compared to low (p = 0.036). GSSG (oxidized glutathione) concentration was lower in A, whereas A, B and S presented a higher GSH (reduced glutathione)/GSSG ratio. The results showed that fruit pomaces could represent promising feed ingredients for broilers, improving serum, meat and tissue antioxidant parameters. Full article
Article
Dietary Supplementation with Olive Mill Wastewater in Dairy Sheep: Evaluation of Cheese Characteristics and Presence of Bioactive Molecules
Animals 2020, 10(11), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10111941 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
The aim of the study was to define the chemical characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, sensory properties, and the presence of polyphenols in ovine cheese obtained after dietary administration of spray-dried olive mill wastewater (SDP). SDP is a waste from olive oil production [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to define the chemical characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, sensory properties, and the presence of polyphenols in ovine cheese obtained after dietary administration of spray-dried olive mill wastewater (SDP). SDP is a waste from olive oil production rich in bioactive molecules obtained by further processing the olive mill wastewater through a spray-drying system. Thirty-six sheep were randomly assigned to two experimental groups that received a standard diet based on hay and concentrate. The concentrate fed to the SDP group was supplemented with SDP at a rate 25 g/kg (as fed). The trial lasted 9 weeks. Milk from the two treatment groups was separately collected and used for manufacturing cheese. Cheese quality parameters and proximate composition were not affected by the dietary treatment, whereas the antioxidant status and oxidative stability of cheese were positively affected. Polyphenol analyses in cheese were performed through liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The concentration of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, and their sulphate metabolites, were higher in cheese from supplemented sheep. These findings suggest that polyphenol metabolites can play a major role in the beneficial effects observed in food produced from sheep fed SDP. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Ammoniation Treatment on the Chemical Composition and In Vitro Digestibility of Rice Straw in Chinese Holsteins
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101854 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
The current study was conducted to explore the ammoniation treatment effects on the chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of rice straw in Chinese Holsteins. For this purpose, rice straw was stored in polyethylene bags (35 × 25 cm, 350 g per bag) [...] Read more.
The current study was conducted to explore the ammoniation treatment effects on the chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of rice straw in Chinese Holsteins. For this purpose, rice straw was stored in polyethylene bags (35 × 25 cm, 350 g per bag) including (i) no additives (RS); (ii) 5% urea (5U, dry matter (DM) basis); (iii) 9% corn steep liquor + 5% urea (9C5U, DM basis); (iv) 9C2.5U; and (v) 9C2.5U + 3% molasses (9C2.5U3M, DM basis). The air-dry matter of the mixture was kept at the same level at 55% for all treatments. Fifteen bags (5 treatments × 3 repeats) were prepared and stored at ambient temperature (25 ± 3 °C). The chemical composition and in vitro digestibility were measured at day 60 after storage. Our analysis revealed that all the four ammoniation treatments improved the in vitro DM and neutral detergent fiber (IVNDFD) digestibility. In addition, all the four ammoniation treatments significantly (P < 0.001) increased the levels of crude protein (CP), gas production (GP), acetic acid (AA), butyric acid (BA) and total volatile fatty acid (TVFA) contents of the rice straw and decreased the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) of the rice straw compared to the control. Within four treated groups, the 9C5U treatment was most effective. Finally, we concluded that ammoniation treatments increased the nutritive value of rice straw. In addition the 9C5U treatment could be an effective ammoniation treatment for the better utilization of rice straw. Full article
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Article
Effects of Ensiling Oxytropis glabra with Whole-Plant Corn at Different Proportions on Fermentation Quality, Alkaloid Swainsonine Content, and Lactic Acid Bacteria Populations
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101733 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 561
Abstract
Oxytropis glabra (OG) is a leguminous forage that is potentially valuable for solving the shortage of feed for livestock production, while, in large quantities, it may be toxic because of its swainsonine (SW) content. In this study, OG was ensiled with whole-plant corn [...] Read more.
Oxytropis glabra (OG) is a leguminous forage that is potentially valuable for solving the shortage of feed for livestock production, while, in large quantities, it may be toxic because of its swainsonine (SW) content. In this study, OG was ensiled with whole-plant corn (Zea mays L.) at 10:0, 9:1, 8:2, 7:3, 6:4, 5:5, 4:6, and 0:10 ratios on a fresh matter basis, and, after 60 d of ensiling, the chemical composition, fermentation characteristic, SW removal rate, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) populations, and their capabilities for SW removal were analyzed. As the proportion of corn in the silage increased, the pH, as well as the propionic acid, ammonia-N, dry matter, crude protein, and SW contents, decreased linearly, while the lactic acid, neutral detergent fiber, and residual water-soluble carbohydrate contents increased linearly. Lactobacillus plantarum was the most common microorganism present in all mixture silages. Lactobacillus amylovorus and Lactobacillusbrevis were prevalent at lower ratios of corn to OG. Meanwhile, the LAB strains belong to L. amylovorus and L. plantarum had a higher SW removal rate. Our results suggested that ensiling OG with whole-plant corn improves fermentation and decreases SW content, and that 5:5 is the optimal ratio, so this type of mixed silage could make OG useable for ruminant production. Full article
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Article
Silage of Prickly Pears (Opuntia spp.) Juice By-Products
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091716 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Cactus pear cladodes are used as forage in the most arid regions. In Italy, the human consumption of prickly pear fruits and juice is gradually increasing for their numerous health benefits. In manufacturing plants that produce prickly pear juice, several by-products (prickly pear [...] Read more.
Cactus pear cladodes are used as forage in the most arid regions. In Italy, the human consumption of prickly pear fruits and juice is gradually increasing for their numerous health benefits. In manufacturing plants that produce prickly pear juice, several by-products (prickly pear by-products PPB) are obtained. Despite their interesting nutritional characteristics, PPB are not very usable because of their poor shelf-life which is related to their high moisture and sugar content. The aim of this study was to verify the efficacy of ensilage to preserve PPB and to compare different inclusion levels (0, 5, and 10% as fed) of wheat straw. For each treatment, four under vacuum micro-silos were prepared and, after 35 days of storage, the state of preservation was evaluated. Subsequently, the aliquots were analyzed for chemical composition and incubated with bovine rumen fluid to evaluate the fermentation kinetics. The PPB 5% of straw showed significant lower pH and ammonia nitrogen concentration, indicating a better preservation process. Moreover, PPB 5% of straw showed better nutritional parameters (higher crude protein and lower Neutral Detergent Fibre) and fermentation characteristics (higher degradability and VFA volatile fatty acids production) when compared with the other PPB silages. Ensilage with straw represents a suitable storage technique to preserve the nutritional characteristics of PPB. Full article
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Article
Feeding Agro-Industrial By-Products to Light Lambs: Influence on Meat Characteristics, Lipid Oxidation, and Fatty Acid Profile
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091572 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 755
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of replacing 44% of conventional feeds in a high-cereal concentrate (CON) with by-products (BYP concentrate; 18% corn distillers dried grains with solubles, 18% dried citrus pulp, and 8% exhausted olive cake) on the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of replacing 44% of conventional feeds in a high-cereal concentrate (CON) with by-products (BYP concentrate; 18% corn distillers dried grains with solubles, 18% dried citrus pulp, and 8% exhausted olive cake) on the meat characteristics and fatty acid (FA) profile of fattening light lambs. Two groups of 12 Lacaune lambs were fed concentrate and barley straw ad libitum from 13.8 to 26.0 kg of body weight. There were no differences (p ≥ 0.130) between groups in the pH, chemical composition, color, and texture parameters and in the estimated proportions of pigments in the longissimus dorsi. Feeding the BYP concentrate reduced the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in the meat after 6 days of refrigerated storage (unmodified atmosphere), probably due to the greater polyphenol content in this concentrate. Compared with CON-fed lambs, the meat and the subcutaneous fat from BYP-fed lambs had lower saturated and greater polyunsaturated FA content as well as greater n-6/n-3 FA. In summary, feeding a blend of corn distiller dried grains with solubles, dried citrus pulp, and exhausted olive cake did not change the composition of the meat but improved its antioxidant status and FA profile. Full article
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Article
Effect of Prickly Pear Cactus Peel Supplementation on Milk Production, Nutrient Digestibility and Rumen Fermentation of Sheep and the Maternal Effects on Growth and Physiological Performance of Suckling Offspring
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091476 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
Prickly pear cactus peels (Opuntia ficus-indica, PPCP) are sustainable byproducts available in arid regions and a rich source of antioxidants. Fifteen multiparous Barki ewes (2–3 years old, 46.94 ± 0.59 kg body weight, BW) at postpartum were individually distributed [...] Read more.
Prickly pear cactus peels (Opuntia ficus-indica, PPCP) are sustainable byproducts available in arid regions and a rich source of antioxidants. Fifteen multiparous Barki ewes (2–3 years old, 46.94 ± 0.59 kg body weight, BW) at postpartum were individually distributed in three equal groups and fed diets supplemented with PPCP at doses of 0, 5 and 10 g/head/day. Lambs were individually distributed into three equal groups according to their mothers’ groups to investigate the maternal effect on lambs’ growth performance, hematology and serum metabolites. This trial lasted for 56 days from birth to weaning. Moreover, nine adult male Barki sheep with a live BW of 65.76 ± 0.54 kg were randomly allocated into three equal groups to determine the effect of PPCP on the nutrient digestibility of the experimental diets. The results indicate that supplementing PPCP at low levels (5 g/head/day) increased milk yield (p = 0.050), fat-corrected milk (p = 0.022), energy-corrected milk (p = 0.015) and the yield of milk constituents compared to 10 g PPCP and the control group. In addition, lambs suckling from ewes fed the diet supplemented with 5 g PPCP had a higher (p = 0.001) weaning BW compared to other groups. Serum total protein, globulin, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase enzyme activities and the triiodothyronine hormone improved significantly in lambs suckling from ewes fed diets supplemented with 5 g PPCP compared to the control group. Serum cholesterol profile and kidney activities were enhanced significantly in lambs suckling from ewes fed diets supplemented with 5 and 10 g of PPCP compared to the control group. The dietary supplementation of 5 g PPCP improved the crude protein digestibility, digestible crude protein value, nitrogen balance and rumen fermentation characteristics of male sheep compared to the control group. In conclusion, supplementation with 5 g PPCP improved ewes’ milk production, offspring growth and physiological status. Furthermore, it improved the crude protein digestibility and rumen fermentation characteristics of Barki sheep. Full article
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Article
Productive and Qualitative Traits of Amaranthus Cruentus L.: An Unconventional Healthy Ingredient in Animal Feed
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081428 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 941
Abstract
Agronomic traits, oil content, fatty acid composition, antioxidant activity, and total phenolic content were studied on eight A. cruentus accessions cultivated in Southern Italy. A one-way ANOVA model was performed to compare accessions and the Principal Components Analysis was applied to identify patterns [...] Read more.
Agronomic traits, oil content, fatty acid composition, antioxidant activity, and total phenolic content were studied on eight A. cruentus accessions cultivated in Southern Italy. A one-way ANOVA model was performed to compare accessions and the Principal Components Analysis was applied to identify patterns in our dataset and highlight similarities and differences. A. cruentus showed valuable seed yield (0.27 kg/m2, on average) comparable to the main tradition cereals used for animal feeding. Seed-oil composition showed significant differences among the accessions. Data showed a higher lipid content than most cereal grains (from 5.6 to 7.3%). Approximately 60% of fatty acids were unsaturated; linoleic fatty acid ranged from 19 to 34%, oleic acid from 29 to 36%, and alfa-linolenic fatty acid from 0.3 to 0.5%, respectively. The saturated/unsaturated fatty acid ratio ranged from 0.5 to 0.8, the hypocholesterolemic:hypercholesterolaemic ratio from 1.7 to 2.7, the Atherogenic Index from 0.38 to 0.66, the Thrombogenic Index from 0.85 to 1.48, the total phenolic content from 0.14 to 0.36 mg/g seeds, and the antioxidant activity (DPPH) from 0.30 to 0.50. The studied seed-oil composition evidenced A. cruentus as a healthy ingredient for animal feed and consequently, as a possible substitute for traditional cereals. Accessions from Mexico and Arizona emerged for their high qualitative traits. Full article
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Article
Response of Fattening Rabbits with Acorns (Quercus pubescens Willd.) Combined in the Diet: First Acquaintances on Growth Performance, Carcass Traits and Perirenal Fatty Acid Profile
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081394 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
The request for functional and healthy meat presents a challenge to modern animal nutritionists and rabbit meat consumption appears to increase alongside the aging population. Novel functional feeds for food-producing animals gather the interest of the scientific community and acorns appear frequently accounted [...] Read more.
The request for functional and healthy meat presents a challenge to modern animal nutritionists and rabbit meat consumption appears to increase alongside the aging population. Novel functional feeds for food-producing animals gather the interest of the scientific community and acorns appear frequently accounted among non-competitive-with-human feeding sources, above all in slow food production systems. This investigation aimed to assess the response to acorns combined in the diet of 40 fattening rabbits, in respect of growth performance, carcass characteristics and fatty acids composition in perirenal fat. A same commercial fattening diet combined or not with shredded acorns (control, CON = 0 vs. acorn combined diet, ACD = 200 g/kg feed as fed weight, respectively) was administered for six weeks to two groups of Separator rabbits, consisting of 20 animals each. No differences in feed conversion, carcass weight at slaughter and carcass yields (24 h) were found between groups at the end of the experimental feeding. Perirenal fat profile of rabbits from the ACD group pointed to significant differences in ΣPUFA content (25.1 vs. 31.6, as a percentage of total lipids, respectively, p < 0.001) and in the Σ n − 6/n − 3 ratio (5.95 vs. 2.41). In conclusion, acorns can be used as an energy source in mixed feeds for rabbits, especially in slow production systems. Full article
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Article
Effects of Replacing Extruded Maize by Dried Citrus Pulp in a Mixed Diet on Ruminal Fermentation, Methane Production, and Microbial Populations in Rusitec Fermenters
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081316 - 30 Jul 2020
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Citrus pulp is a highly abundant by-product of the citrus industry. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of replacing extruded maize (EM; 20% of total diet) by dried citrus pulp (DCP; 20%) in a mixed diet on rumen fermentation [...] Read more.
Citrus pulp is a highly abundant by-product of the citrus industry. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of replacing extruded maize (EM; 20% of total diet) by dried citrus pulp (DCP; 20%) in a mixed diet on rumen fermentation and microbial populations in Rusitec fermenters. The two diets contained 50% alfalfa hay and 50% concentrate, and the same protein level. Four Rusitec fermenters were used in a cross-over design with two 13-d incubation runs. After 7-d of diet adaptation, diet disappearance, fermentation parameters, microbial growth, and microbial populations were assessed. Fermenters receiving the DCP showed greater pH values and fiber disappearance (p < 0.001) and lower methane production (p = 0.03) than those fed EM. Replacing EM by DCP caused an increase in the proportions of propionate and butyrate (p < 0.001) and a decrease in acetate (p = 0.04). Microbial growth, bacterial diversity, and the quantity of bacteria and protozoa DNA were not affected by the diet, but the relative abundances of fungi and archaea were greater (p < 0.03) in solid and liquid phases of DCP fermenters, respectively. Results indicate that DCP can substitute EM, promoting a more efficient ruminal fermentation. Full article
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Article
Use of Castor Bean Meal, Biodiesel Industry Coproduct, in A Lamb Production System Using Creep-Feeding in Brazil
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081250 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the replacement of soybean meal by detoxified castor bean meal on the intake and digestibility of nutrients, body weight gain, carcass yield, physiological and urinary parameters, and creep-feeding method effectiveness. For this trial, 43 male lambs were used, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the replacement of soybean meal by detoxified castor bean meal on the intake and digestibility of nutrients, body weight gain, carcass yield, physiological and urinary parameters, and creep-feeding method effectiveness. For this trial, 43 male lambs were used, Dorper × Santa Inês, with an average initial body weight of 7.95 kg, 15 days old. Lambs were distributed in a randomized block design. Five experimental diets were provided: Without supplementation, with supplementation but without the use of castor bean meal, and with gradual levels of replacement of soybean meal by detoxified castor bean meal (33%, 67%, and 100%). Higher values of DMI and nutrient digestibility (p < 0.05) were observed for animals that received supplements. The milk intake did not differ among the diets. The DMD showed a linear effect, while NDFD had a quadratic effect, depending on castor bean meal inclusion. The carcass yield did not differ between experimental diets. There was no significant effect on the urinary volume and metabolites investigated. In conclusion, the replacement of soybean meal by detoxified castor bean meal does not compromise animals’ development. Besides, the creep-feeding method positively affects lamb development, with higher body weight gain for supplemented animals. Full article
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Article
Effect of Dietary Olive Cake Supplementation on Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Meat Quality of Beef Cattle
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071176 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
Dietary partially destoned olive cake supplementation on performance, carcass traits and meat quality of intensively finished bulls was evaluated. Forty-five Limousin bulls, divided into three homogenous groups, received a diet with no supplementation (Control-CTR), 7.5% (Low Olive Cake-LOC), and 15.0% of olive cake [...] Read more.
Dietary partially destoned olive cake supplementation on performance, carcass traits and meat quality of intensively finished bulls was evaluated. Forty-five Limousin bulls, divided into three homogenous groups, received a diet with no supplementation (Control-CTR), 7.5% (Low Olive Cake-LOC), and 15.0% of olive cake supplementation (High Olive Cake-HOC). The trial was realized for 150 days; all bulls were individually weighed at the beginning, middle, and end of the trial, to calculate the individual average daily gain (ADG). At slaughtering, on each carcass, hot weight was recorded and, after 7 days, the pH and temperature were measured. On Longissimus lumborum muscle, color, cooking loss, and shear force of the cooked sample were determined. The chemical composition and the fatty acid content of muscle were determined. Olive cake inclusions (7.5% and 15.0%) increased (p < 0.05) the body weight, ADG, slaughter traits and intramuscular fat content and influenced (p < 0.05) the quality indices. The 15.0% of the inclusion reduced (p < 0.05) the cooking loss and shear force, and increased the unsaturated fatty acid content. The olive cake can be considered as a functional component in beef production and, in substitution to a quote of cereals into the diet of bulls, could be an opportunity to improve agriculture sustainability. Full article
Review
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for Food Waste: A Second Life for Fresh-Cut Leafy Salad Crops in Animal Diets
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061082 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
The world’s population is growing rapidly, which means that the environmental impact of food production needs to be reduced and that food should be considered as something precious and not wasted. Moreover, an urgent challenge facing the planet is the competition between the [...] Read more.
The world’s population is growing rapidly, which means that the environmental impact of food production needs to be reduced and that food should be considered as something precious and not wasted. Moreover, an urgent challenge facing the planet is the competition between the food produced for humans and the feed for animals. There are various solutions such as the use of plant/vegetable by-products (PBPs) and former foodstuffs, which are the co/by-products of processing industries, or the food losses generated by the food production chain for human consumption. This paper reviews the by-co-products derived from the transformation of fresh-cut leafy salad crops. A preliminary nutritional evaluation of these materials is thus proposed. Based on their composition and nutritional features, in some cases similar to fresh forage and grasses, this biomass seems to be a suitable feedstuff for selected farm animals, such as ruminants. In conclusion, although the present data are not exhaustive and further studies are needed to weigh up the possible advantages and disadvantages of these materials, fresh-cut leafy salad crops represent a potential unconventional feed ingredient that could help in exploiting the circular economy in livestock production, thereby improving sustainability. Full article
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Article
Performance of Slow-Growing Male Muscovy Ducks Exposed to Different Dietary Levels of Quebracho Tannin
Animals 2020, 10(6), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060979 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
The study of the nutritional effects of tannins is complex due to the large chemical diversity; consequently, in poultry nutrition the biological responses may vary greatly. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different levels of dietary Quebracho [...] Read more.
The study of the nutritional effects of tannins is complex due to the large chemical diversity; consequently, in poultry nutrition the biological responses may vary greatly. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different levels of dietary Quebracho tannins (QT) on growth and production performance in slow-growing type Muscovy ducks. For this purpose, a 42-d trial was carried out on 126 male ducks (42-d old at start), fed on three levels of dietary QT inclusion in the diet (0% as control diet, vs. 1.5% vs. 2.5% on an as fed basis). Birds were reared under free-range conditions. A linear increase in feed intake as a function of QT inclusion in the diet was observed (p < 0.05). No difference as to final body weight, overall average daily weight gain (ADG) and total feed conversion ratio (FCR) in relation to dietary treatments was observed. Carcass yields were positively improved in QT birds (p < 0.05). No adverse responses were recorded in total blood protein and liver weight. Dietary QT might be safely used up by to 2.5% in 42- to 84-d aged male Muscovy ducks. Full article
Article
Effect of Supplementation of Herd Diet with Olive Cake on the Composition Profile of Milk and on the Composition, Quality and Sensory Profile of Cheeses Made Therefrom
Animals 2020, 10(6), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060977 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Aim of the present study was to assess the effect of dietary dried partially destoned olive cake supplement on nutritional quality and sensory profile of milk and cheese produced by dairy cows. The experiment was carried out on eighty-four healthy dairy Friesian cows [...] Read more.
Aim of the present study was to assess the effect of dietary dried partially destoned olive cake supplement on nutritional quality and sensory profile of milk and cheese produced by dairy cows. The experiment was carried out on eighty-four healthy dairy Friesian cows divided into two homogenous groups. The control group (CTR) received a conventional diet, whereas the experimental group (OC) received a conventional diet supplemented with olive cake as 15% of DM. The trial lasted five months. Monthly, on individual milk samples, yield and physical-chemical parameters were determined. Milk was used for the artisanal cheese production. On 10 samples of cheese for each group, physical-chemical and fatty acid profile were determined. Electronic nose analysis and sensory evaluation were performed. Data were analyzed by ANOVA. The diet affected (p < 0.05) the milk yield, exclusively in September. Yield and quality of cheese of OC group after 60 d of ripening showed higher (p < 0.05) yield, moisture and fat content, lower (p < 0.05) pH, protein, salt and ash content, higher (p < 0.01) MUFA and PUFA and CLA content, lower (p < 0.05) SFA, higher (p < 0.01) UFA/SFA and hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic ratios, better (p < 0.01) atherogenic and thrombogenic indices. Data show dietary olive cake supplementation in lactating dairy cows improves nutritional and nutraceutical properties of cheese, volatile profile and level of assessors’ acceptance. Full article
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Article
Digestive Potential of Soybean Agro-Industry Byproducts
Animals 2020, 10(5), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050911 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the protein and carbohydrate fractions as well as the in situ rumen degradability of Brachiaria decumbens silage (BDS) supplemented with soybean hulls. Five soybean hull inclusion levels were used: 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% of the fresh [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the protein and carbohydrate fractions as well as the in situ rumen degradability of Brachiaria decumbens silage (BDS) supplemented with soybean hulls. Five soybean hull inclusion levels were used: 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% of the fresh matter of B. decumbens grass, distributed into a completely randomized design with five replications. The inclusion of soybean hulls caused a linear decrease (p < 0.001) in carbohydrate fractions A + B1 and a linear increase (p < 0.001) in carbohydrate fraction C. The percentage of non-protein nitrogen fraction increased linearly (p < 0.001), but the nitrogen fractions B1 + B2 and B3 presented a negative quadratic effect (p < 0.01) with soybean hull level and fraction C presented a linear decrease (p < 0.001). The dry matter (DM) degradability of soluble fraction (A) and the undigestible DM decreased linearly (p < 0.01) with the soybean hull level. The potentially degradable water-insoluble portion (DM fraction B) and degradability rate (c) of the DM fraction B increased linearly (p < 0.001) with soybean hull level. The crude protein (CP) fraction A presented a linear increase (p < 0.001) with soybean hull inclusion; however, soybean hull levels caused a linear decrease (p < 0.001) in the CP level of fraction B. The degradable insoluble fraction of NDF (D) of the silage increased linearly (p < 0.001) and the indigestible NDF fraction of the silage was linearly decreased with the soybean hull level (p < 0.001). The inclusion of intermediate levels (20–30%) of soybean hulls provided better protein and carbohydrate fractions and better quality of BDS. Full article
Article
Effect of Cassava Residue Substituting for Crushed Maize on In Vitro Ruminal Fermentation Characteristics of Dairy Cows at Mid-Lactation
Animals 2020, 10(5), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050893 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of using cassava residue to replace crushed maize on in vitro fermentation characteristics of dairy cows at mid-lactation and provide guidance for its utilization. The study included seven treatments with four replicates, which used 0% [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of using cassava residue to replace crushed maize on in vitro fermentation characteristics of dairy cows at mid-lactation and provide guidance for its utilization. The study included seven treatments with four replicates, which used 0% (control, CON), 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% cassava residue to replace crushed maize (air-dried matter basis), respectively. A China-patented automated trace gas recording system was used to perform in vitro gas tests; rumen fluids were collected from three dairy cows at mid-lactation. In vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD), gas production (GP), pH, ammonia–N (NH3-N) and microbial protein (MCP) content were analyzed after in vitro incubating for 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h, respectively; volatile fatty acid (VFA) content was analyzed after in vitro culturing for 48 h. The results showed that with the increase of substitution ratio of cassava residue, the asymptotic gas production (A) increased quadratically (p < 0.05), cumulative gas production at 48 h (GP48) and the maximum rate of substrate digestion (RmaxS) increased linearly and quadratically (p < 0.05), the time at which the maximum gas production rate is reached (TRmaxG) increases linearly (p < 0.05). In addition, asymptotic gas production in 30% was significantly higher than the other treatments (p < 0.05), RmaxS in 25% and 30% were significantly higher than CON, 5% and 10% (p < 0.05). In addition, with the increase of substitution ratio of cassava residue, when in vitro cultured for 6 h and 12 h, NH3–N content decreased linearly and quadratically (p < 0.05). NH3–N content in 30% was significantly lower than the other treatments except 20% and 25% (p < 0.05) after cultivating for 6 h. Moreover, the content of iso-butyrate, iso-valerate, valerate and total VFA (tVFA) decreased linearly and quadratically (p < 0.05), acetate decreased quadratically (p < 0.05) with the increase of substitution ratio of cassava residue. In conclusion, when the cassava residue substitution ratio for crushed maize was 25% or less, there were no negative effects on in vitro ruminal fermentation characteristics of dairy cows at mid-lactation. Full article
Article
In Vitro Estimation of the Effect of Grinding on Rumen Fermentation of Fibrous Feeds
Animals 2020, 10(4), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040732 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 738
Abstract
The fermentation patterns of six fiber sources, soybean hulls (SH), sugarbeet pulp (BP), palm kernel cake (PK), oat hulls (OH), dehydrated alfalfa meal (DA), and barley straw (BS) were evaluated for this study on the effect of their presentation form (non-processed, NP and [...] Read more.
The fermentation patterns of six fiber sources, soybean hulls (SH), sugarbeet pulp (BP), palm kernel cake (PK), oat hulls (OH), dehydrated alfalfa meal (DA), and barley straw (BS) were evaluated for this study on the effect of their presentation form (non-processed, NP and ground, GR). Substrates were tested in a conventional in vitro batch system, using rumen fluid obtained from ewes fed 0.5 alfalfa hay and 0.5 barley straw. All substrates rendered a higher gas production in GR form (p < 0.05) except for BS but ranked similarly irrespective of the presentation form. Among the substrates, when incubated NP, the highest volume of gas was recorded with BP from 8 h onwards (p < 0.05), whereas OH and BS resulted in the lowest gas volume (p < 0.05). During the first half of the incubation period, methane production was higher in GR than NP (p < 0.05). Among substrates, despite NP or GR, methane production with BP was the highest (p < 0.05). Similarly, the presentation form did not qualitatively affect fermentation, as no differences were observed in volatile fatty acids proportions. The effect of particle size of fibrous substrates does not have a major impact on the rate and extent of the rumen microbial fermentation. Full article
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Article
Potentials and Challenges of Former Food Products (Food Leftover) as Alternative Feed Ingredients
Animals 2020, 10(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010125 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Former food products (FFPs) are foodstuffs that, even though they are nutritious and safe, have lost their value on the human consumption market for different reasons, such as production errors leading to broken or intermediate foodstuffs, surpluses caused by logistical challenges of daily [...] Read more.
Former food products (FFPs) are foodstuffs that, even though they are nutritious and safe, have lost their value on the human consumption market for different reasons, such as production errors leading to broken or intermediate foodstuffs, surpluses caused by logistical challenges of daily delivery, or any other reason. The nutritional features of FFPs include carbohydrates, free sugars, and possibly also fats. FFPs tend to have been processed through various technological and heat treatments that impact the nutrients and the kinetics of digestion, as well as animal response and, particularly, gastro-intestinal health. This review integrates some of the most recently published works about the chemical composition, nutritional value, digestibility and glycaemic index of ex-foods. In addition, a view on the relationship between the use of FFPs and safety issues and their effects on pigs’ intestinal microbiota are also given. Full article
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2019

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Article
In Vivo Performances, Carcass Traits, and Meat Quality of Pigs Fed Olive Cake Processing Waste
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121155 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
The aim of the study was to assess the inclusion of different levels of olive cake in pigs’ diet as a strategy to replace conventional ingredients and to improve meat quality traits. Seventy-two Pietrain pigs, during the growing–finishing period (50–120 kg BW), were [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to assess the inclusion of different levels of olive cake in pigs’ diet as a strategy to replace conventional ingredients and to improve meat quality traits. Seventy-two Pietrain pigs, during the growing–finishing period (50–120 kg BW), were fed with three dietary treatments that contained or did not contain olive cake: 0% (Ctrl), 5% (Low), and 10% (High). The trial lasted 90 days. Weekly, individual body weight (BW) and feed intake (FI) were recorded to calculate average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). At slaughter, the dressing percentage was calculated and carcass weight and backfat thickness were measured. On a section of Longissimus thoracis muscle (LT), pH, color, chemical, and fatty acid composition were determined. Fatty acid profile was also determined in backfat. The statistical model included the effects of diet (Ctrl, Low, and High). The inclusion of 5% of olive cake in the diet improved significantly (p < 0.05) BW and FCR. Both levels of inclusion (5% and 10%) significantly reduced (p < 0.05) backfat thickness and intramuscular fat and modified their fatty acid composition, increasing (p < 0.05) the concentration of MUFA and PUFA and improving (p < 0.05) quality indices. Results suggest that olive cake did not negatively affect the productive performances. Full article
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