We have previously shown that grazing in East-Mediterranean brushlands is associated with improved milk quality. However, grazing exposes animals to predation, heat stress, and parasites, and imposes labor constraint. In order to verify the hypothesis that feeding the tannin-rich browse species lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus L.) to confined dairy goats could serve as proxy to grazing in improving milk composition, 30 Damascus goats were assigned to 3 treatments for 3 weeks: goats were grazing for 4 h daily in Mediterranean brushland (treatment P) or were fed indoors with vetch hay without (H), or with (HPIS) lentisk foliage. Milk yield and dry matter intake were not affected by treatment. HPIS milk was richer in protein and milk-fat content than H milk. H milk had highest urea concentration, smallest milk-fat globules and highest phospholipid content (milk-fat basis). Curd firmness was 39 and 50% higher in the HPIS group, compared with P and H, respectively. HPIS milk had 39 and 90% higher n-3 fatty acids concentration than P and H, respectively. This study suggests that access to P. lentiscus intensifies the effect of grazing in Mediterranean woodland on milk composition. Thus, we present a nutritional strategy that not only retains the exceptional nutritional values and productivity of pasture feeding, but also participates in a profitable and sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on intensive ruminant animal-production systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development Chief Scientist under agreement # 12-05-0009. Sponsors had no role in study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, or in the writing or publication of the data. We are indebted to Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park and in particular to Mr Hugo Yan Trago for allowing us to use goats from the Ramat Hanadiv flock as experimental animals.
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.
- Curd firmness
- Omega 3
- Pistacia lentiscus