Silage of the agro-industrial co-product of babassu palm heart processing in sheep feed
ABSTRACT: The inner bark or less tender sheath generated from industrial manufacture of canned babassu palm (Attalea speciosa) heart is inadequate for human consumption, often being discarded inappropriately and giving rise to environmental pollution. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to assess the intake and digestibility in sheep fed on silage of the agro-industrial co-product of babassu palm (ICBP)enriched with different additives, or on sugarcane silage. Fifteen Santa Inês sheep were distributed in a completely randomized design, consisting of five treatments and three replicates. The treatments comprised babassu palm silage enriched with broken maize (BM), broken rice (BR), cassava scrapings (CS), coffee husk combined with maize kernel (CC), and sugarcane silage (SC), all supplemented with concentrate, at a voluminous:concentrate ratio of 65:35. Silages based on ICBP and SC had similar intake of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), and non-fibrous carbohydrate (NFC). Increasing the additive fraction in ICBP silages favored the digestibility of DM, OM, CP, NFC, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and total digestible nutrients (TDN). Our results indicated that silage based on additive-enriched ICBP can be used in the diet of ruminants, especially those based on broken maize and cassava scrapings that provide superior nutritional quality compared to the other silages assessed.