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Extracts of Flourensia cernua reduce consumption of alfalfa pellets by sheep

Estell, R., Tellez, M., Fredrickson, E., Anderson, D., Havstad, K., Remmenga, M.
Journal of chemical ecology 2001 v.27 no.11 pp. 2275
Flourensia, lamb feeding, antifeedants, lambs, palatability, chemical constituents of plants
Effects of three extracts (hexanes, ether, and ethanol) from tarbush (Flourensia cernua) on intake of alfalfa pellets by lambs were examined. Forty-five ewe lambs were fed one of five treatments for five days (randomized complete block, three lambs per block on each treatment). Treatments were alfalfa pellets (CON) or alfalfa pellets plus ethanol carrier (CAR), hexanes extract (HEX), ether extract (ETH), or ethanol extract (ETOH). Extracts were applied to alfalfa pellets at the same concentration as in an equivalent amount of tarbush (as fed basis) in experiment 1 and at 10-fold dilutions of that concentration in experiment 2. Treatments were isolated from tarbush leaves by using a sequential extraction with hexanes, diethyl ether, and 100% ethanol. Lambs received 640 g of alfalfa pellets (dry matter basis) each morning and intake was monitored during a 20-min interval. Lambs were maintained and fed alfalfa pellets (4.7% of body weight) as one group except during this interval. In experiment 1, mean intake by lambs during the 20-min interval was 361, 393, 204, 212, and 228 g for CON, CAR, HEX, ETH, and ETOH, respectively (SEM = 28.9). All three extracts decreased intake (P < 0.001) compared to CON or CAR. Intake did not differ among the three extracts (HEX, ETH, and ETOH) or between the two controls (CON and CAR). Mean intake did not differ among treatments in experiment 2 (468, 455, 389, 381, and 431 g for CON, CAR, HEX, ETH, and ETOH, respectively; SEM = 30.5; P = 0.187). Several compounds are probably responsible for the low palatability and differential use of tarbush typically exhibited by livestock.