Influence of Sunflower Whole Seeds or Oil on Ruminal Fermentation, Milk Production, Composition, and Fatty Acid Profile in Lactating Goats

  • Morsy, T.A. (Dairy Science Department, National Research Center) ;
  • Kholif, S.M. (Dairy Science Department, National Research Center) ;
  • Kholif, A.E. (Dairy Science Department, National Research Center) ;
  • Matloup, O.H. (Dairy Science Department, National Research Center) ;
  • Salem, A.Z.M. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico) ;
  • Elella, A. Abu (Animal Production Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center)
  • Received : 2014.11.03
  • Accepted : 2015.02.11
  • Published : 2015.08.01


This study aimed to investigate the effect of sunflower seeds, either as whole or as oil, on rumen fermentation, milk production, milk composition and fatty acids profile in dairy goats. Fifteen lactating Damascus goats were divided randomly into three groups (n = 5) fed a basal diet of concentrate feed mixture and fresh Trifolium alexandrinum at 50:50 on dry matter basis (Control) in addition to 50 g/head/d sunflower seeds whole (SS) or 20 mL/head/d sunflower seeds oil (SO) in a complete randomized design. Milk was sampled every two weeks during 90 days of experimental period for chemical analysis and rumen was sampled at 30, 60, and 90 days of the experiment for ruminal pH, volatile fatty acids (tVFA), and ammonia-N determination. Addition of SO decreased (p = 0.017) ruminal pH, whereas SO and SS increased tVFA (p<0.001) and acetate (p = 0.034) concentrations. Serum glucose increased (p = 0.013) in SO and SS goats vs Control. The SO and SS treated goats had improved milk yield (p = 0.007) and milk fat content (p = 0.002). Moreover, SO increased milk lactose content (p = 0.048) and feed efficiency (p = 0.046) compared to Control. Both of SS and SO increased (p<0.05) milk unsaturated fatty acids content specially conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) vs Control. Addition of SS and SO increased (p = 0. 021) C18:3N3 fatty acid compared to Control diet. Data suggested that addition of either SS or SO to lactating goats ration had beneficial effects on milk yield and milk composition with enhancing milk content of healthy fatty acids (CLA and omega 3), without detrimental effects on animal performance.


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