The effect of a natural feed additive, fenugreek, on feed digestibility and milk response in dairy goats

Smit, Hendrik Petrus Jordaan (2014-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Little research has been done on natural feed additives which enhance milk production in dairy animals. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum) is a member of the legume family and is found in India, Middle East, North Africa and South Europe. Fenugreek is used as an herb in traditional medicine to promote lactation in lactating women. It also influences the lactation performance in ruminants such as dairy cows, water buffaloes and dairy goats. Diocin is a natural saponin found in Fenugreek and has structural similarity to oestrogen, which leads to an increased release of growth hormone (GH) and ultimately milk production. Three different trials were carried out to investigate Fenugreek’s effects. Each trial consisted of three treatment groups where dairy goats were randomly assigned. Nutrifen®, NutrifenPlus® and a control treatment served as the three treatments used in this study. Forty-eight goats per treatment group were used in the first trial where the main objective was to evaluate Fenugreek’s effect on milk production and milk composition. The second trial consisted of eight goats per treatment group, where Fenugreek’s effect on the in vivo and in vitro digestibility of the feed served as the main objective of this study. In the final part of the study, growth hormone found in plasma was subsequently investigated using the same goats from trial two. Fenugreek’s effect on elevating GH levels was the objective from the third part of the study. The first trial showed promising results in terms of an increase in milk production (P = 0.01) from dairy goats using the Nutrifen® treatment and an increase in milk lactose (P = 0.03) using the NutrifenPlus® treatment. Blood cholesterol and cholesterol content found in the milk did not differ between treatments used. Apparent digestibility of the total digestible nutrients (TDN) from the feed did not increase and did not differ between treatments and therefore concluded that the dairy goats digested the different treatments with similar efficiency regardless of the additive added to the feed. Growth hormone levels found in plasma also did not differ between treatments used in the third part of the study. Variation was found in GH plasma levels and this was expected as GH levels are known to have variation within ruminants. It appears that Fenugreek used as a natural feed additive can increase the milk yield from dairy goats, which would be beneficial to the commercial dairy goat farmer. However, the process on how Fenugreek exerts its effect on milk production still remains unclear.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tot datum is min navorsing gepubliseer wat die invloed van natuurlike voer bymiddels op melkproduksie aanspreek. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum) is ‘n peulgewas en kom voor in Indië, die Midde Ooste, Noord Afrika en Suid Europa. Fenugreek word in tradisionele medisyne gebruik om sodoende melkproduksie in lakterende vroue te verhoog. Dit verhoog ook melkprodukise in melkkoeie, waterbuffels en melkbokke. Diocin is ‘n natuurlike saponien, met sterk oestrogeniese strukturele ooreenkomste, wat in Fenugreek voorkom. Diocin lei tot die verhoogde afskeiding van groeihormoon (GH) en uiteindelik ‘n toename in melkproduksie. Drie proewe is uitgevoer ten einde die effek van Fenugreek te ondersoek. Elke proef het bestaan uit drie behandelingsgroepe en melkbokke is ewekansig aan die groepe toegedeel. Nutrifen®, NutrifenPlus® en ‘n kontrole sonder enige additief is gebruik as behandelings. Agt-en-veertig bokke is per behandeling gebruik in die eerste proef. Die doel van hierdie proef was om die invloed van Fenugreek op melkproduksie en melksamestelling te bepaal. Die tweede proef het agt bokke per behandelingsgroep gehad en het ten doel gehad om te bepaal wat die invloed van Fenugreek op die in vitro en in vivo verteerbaarheid van die voere was. In die derde proef is dieselfde bokke as die in proef twee gebruik en hier is groeihormoon vlakke in sirkulerende bloedplasma gemeet om die invloed van Fenugreek op hierdie parameter te bepaal. Resultate van die eerste proef het getoon dat melkproduksie van bokke wat Nutrifen® ontvang het betekenisvol verhoog het (P = 0.01) terwyl NutrifenPlus® gelei het tot ‘n verhoging (P = 0.03) in melk laktose vlakke. Bloed cholesterol en melk cholesterol vlakke was onveranderd. Skynbare verteerbaarheid van die totale verteerbare voedingstowwe (TVV) van die voer het nie verander (P = 0.34) met die insluiting van Fenugreek nie. Plasma groeihormoonvlakke was nie betekenisvol verskillend (P > 0.05) tussen behandelingsgroepe nie en die gebrek aan verskille kan waarskynlik toegeskryf word aan die variasie wat binne behandelings groepe opgemerk is vir hierdie parameter. Sodanige variasie in plasma groeihormoon word as algemeen beskou in herkouers. Gevolglik kan aanvaar word dat die natuurlike voerbymiddel, Fenugreek, gebruik kan word om melkproduksie in lakterende melkbokke te verhoog. Hierdie praktyk behoort voordele in te hou vir die kommersiële melkprodusent. Die proses waardeur hierdie verhoging plaasvind is egter steeds nie duidelik nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96003
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