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The effect of supplementing leaves of four tannin‐rich plant species with polyethylene glycol on digestibility and zootechnical performance of zebu bulls (Bos indicus)

Yisehak, K., De Boever, J. L., Janssens, G. P. J.
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2014 v.98 no.3 pp. 417-423
Albizia, Grewia, Prunus africana, Syzygium guineense, acid detergent fiber, average daily gain, bulls, crude protein, diet, digestibility, feed conversion, leaves, neutral detergent fiber, nutrient intake, pastures, polyethylene glycol, proanthocyanidins, weight gain, zebu
The effect of supplementing leaves of four tannin‐rich plant species with polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG) on nutrient intake and digestibility as well as on weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and N retention of zebu bulls (Bos indicus) was studied. Leaves of Albizia gummifera, Grewia ferruginea, Prunus africana and Syzygium guineense, containing, respectively, 85, 55, 76 and 172 g condensed tannins (CT) per kg dry matter (DM), were combined with natural pasture hay in a ratio of 40:60 on DM basis. The four diets were fed both without and with addition of PEG, at a dose of 40 g per kg DM, to eight zebu bulls during trials of 25 days in an 8 × 8 randomized crossover design. Supplementation with PEG increased nutrient intake, digestibility, FCR, N retention and average daily gain (p < 0.01). A diet × PEG interaction was observed for nutrient intake as well as for crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibility (p < 0.05), but the effect size of PEG addition could not be attributed to the CT content as such, and also digestibility without PEG was not related to CT content of the diets. The reason why the efficacy of PEG addition did not relate to the CT content pointed the need to evaluate other factors that can help to predict the efficacy of PEG, for example, tannin type or interaction with other nutrients.