Feed ingredients costs have been impacting the production cost. Attempts have been made to use local feed resources in order to reduce feed costs. The objective of this study was to identify effect of using crushed tamarind seed meal (TSM) in concentrate mixture on rumen fermentation, dry matter intake, and digestibility of dairy steers. Four rumen-fistulated dairy steers were used in a 4 × 4 Latin Square Design. Four levels of TSM were used to replace rice bran (RB) in the concentrate mixtures in four treatments (T1 = 0% replacement of RB, T2 = 30% replacement of RB, T3 = 60% replacement of RB, T4 = 100% replacement of RB). The findings revealed that replacement of TSM for RB resulted in similar digestibility of nutrients and intakes (P > 0.05). However, rumen fermentation parameters were remarkably improved, namely total VFA and the concentration of C3 especially at the highest level of replacements (100%, T4), (P < 0.05). Rumen protozoal population was found lowered in all replacements, especially those in higher levels of TSM replacement. Consequently, the rumen methane productions were significantly reduced. TSM can be a promising energy source to replace rice bran, hence lowering the cost of concentrate mixture.
Keywords: Feed resource; Rumen fermentation; Tamarind seed meal.