Intake, digestion, and nitrogen utilization by sheep fed tropical legumes with contrasting tannin concentration and astringency

R Barahona, C E Lascano, R Cochran, J Morrill, E C Titgemeyer
1997 Journal of Animal Science  
We conducted an experiment to determine the effects of concentration and astringency of extractable and bound condensed tannins (CT) in tropical legumes on intake, digestibility, and nitrogen ( N ) utilization by sheep. The test legumes ( Desmodium ovalifolium and Flemingia macrophylla) had similar concentrations of extractable CT (90 g/kg DM) but different concentrations of bound CT and astringency of tannins. Chopped, sun-dried forage of each legume was sprayed with either water (control) or
more » ... water (control) or polyethylene glycol (PEG, 35 g/kg of DM) to bind extractable CT and fed daily (26 g/kg BW) to eight sheep with ruminal and duodenal cannulas. The sheep also received starch-extracted cassava meal intraruminally ( 4 g/kg BW) as a constant source of readily fermentable carbohydrates. Intake of the two legumes was not different ( P > .05), but it increased an average of 10% ( P < .01) when extractable CT were reduced from 90 to 50 g/kg of DM with PEG. Ruminal and total tract digestibilities of OM, NDF, and ADF were greater ( P < .01) with D. ovalifolium than with F. macrophylla and increased for both legumes with the addition of PEG. Greater ( P < .01) N flow to the duodenum, N absorbed from the intestine, and fecal N were observed with F. macrophylla than with D. ovalifolium. Extraction of CT with PEG resulted in less ( P < .05) ruminal escape protein and less ( P < .01) fecal N with both legumes, but apparent postruminal N digestion was not affected. Changes in the concentration of extractable CT in tropical legumes can significantly affect forage intake, digestion, and N utilization by sheep.
doi:10.2527/1997.7561633x pmid:9250527 fatcat:6oknqc5vsbfghlxtxzwf7sthay