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Feeding rumiants with olive by-products enhances animal performance and product quality

A study from the CSIC (Spain) and the University of Wales (United Kingdom) determines that consuming products rich in oil increase the content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and lower the content of saturated fatty acid in milk and meat of goats and sheep.

Olive leaves provide half of the energy and amino acid requirements of sheep and goats at maintenance level and, if adequately supplemented, can be used as part of the forage in diets for production.

Olive by-products traditionally represent an important group of feed resources for ruminants in the Mediterranean areas. However, these materials are still under-exploited. Spanish and British Scientists have analyzed the inclusion of by-products from olive trees and olive oil extraction in the diets offered to goats and sheep.

Olive by-products were evaluated with respect to their composition, digestion, degradation, ruminal fermentation, and their impact on animal performance and on product quality, with particular attention to their fatty acid profile.

The study presents the effects on growth, milk and meat quality of feeding a range of olive by-products (olive leaves and cakes) to goats and sheep. In diets containing oleic acid the total monounsaturated fatty acid content of milk were increased, while saturated fatty acids dropped. Olive leaves provide half of the energy and amino acid requirements of sheep and goats at maintenance level and, if adequately supplemented, can be used as part of the forage in diets for production.

This paper, published in the Animal Feed Science and Technology in November 2008, has been written by E. Molina-Alcaide, from the Unidad de Nutrición Animal, Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC - Granada) and D.R. Yáñez-Ruiz from the Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
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