Interpretive Summary: The influence of extended supplementation of quebracho extract to beef steers consuming a hay diet on digestion, ruminal, and blood parameters
By Anne Zinn
A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science examined the influence of extended supplementation of quebracho extract to beef steers consuming a hay diet on digestion, ruminal, and blood parameters. The addition of natural plant secondary compounds to ruminant feed has been extensively studied because of their ability to modify digestive and metabolic functions, which can potentially result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; specifically, condensed tannin supplementation may alter ruminal fermentation and mitigate methane emissions, but little information is known. The present study aimed to determine the effect of quebracho condensed tannin extract within a roughage-based diet on ruminal digestibility and kinetic parameters by using the in situ and in vitro gas production techniques, in addition to blood urea nitrogen and ruminal parameters.
Overall, results of the present study demonstrated that the inclusion of quebracho tannin extract up to 3% did not impact ruminal parameters and digestion of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber in growing animals receiving a high roughage diet, which indicates that quebracho tannin extract can potentially be strategically utilized to decrease urinary nitrogen excretion without impacting animal performance. However, there were inconsistent results for greenhouse gas emission production, which indicates that the possible beneficial effect of quebracho tannin extract on greenhouse gas emissions may be dependent on nutritional factors in the diet, as well as its digestion profile. The optimal dosage of condensed tannin required to diminish emissions and the impacts of fiber and energy content in the diet need to be further evaluated.
The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.