Improving Ruminant Fermentation Characteristics with Addition of Apple Pulp and Essential Oil to Silage
One of the main categories of environmental challenges are process discards including apple pulp (AP). This by-product contains nutrients making it an ideal candidate as feed additive. In this study, the potential of AP as animal feed was examined. Alfalfa silage was supplemented with fresh AP and essential oil (EO) and the in vitro effects were tested on gas production (GP), dry matter (DM), organic matter and crude protein degradability. Ensiled for 90 days, the treatments were the following: T1) alfalfa silage alone (control), T2) EO processed alfalfa silage (AE), T3) 75% alfalfa + 25% AP silage (AA1), T4) 75% alfalfa + 25% AP EO processed silage (AA1E), T5) 50% alfalfa + 50% AP silage (AA2), T6) 50% alfalfa + 50% AP and EO processed silage (AA2E), T7) 25% alfalfa + 75% AP silage (AA3) and T8) 25% alfalfa + 75% AP and EO processed silage (AA3E). It was observed that the highest BP volume for 25% AP and EO (189.64 mL/g DM) supplemented silage and the lowest for 50% AP and EO (141.07 mL/g DM) supplemented silage after 72-h incubation. The results showed that the supplementation of silage with AP at 50 and 75% levels increased BP parameters (p < 0.01). Effective DM degradability increased by adding EO and AP at 75% level (p < 0.01). It can be concluded that AP can be used in the preparation of alfalfa silage and has the potential to affect ruminal fermentation efficiency.