Effects of quebracho tannin extract on intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation, and methane production in crossbred heifers fed low-quality tropical grass
The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of quebracho tannins extract (QTE) on feed intake, dry matter (DM) digestibility, and methane (CH4) emissions in cattle fed low-quality Pennisetum purpureum grass. Five heifers (Bos taurus × Bos indicus) with an average live weight (LW) of 295 ± 19 kg were allotted to five treatments (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4% QTE/kg DM) in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Intake, digestibility, and total methane emissions (L/day) were recorded for periods of 23 h when cattle were housed in open-circuit respiration chambers. Dry matter intake (DMI), organic matter intake (OMI), dry matter digestibility (DMD), and organic matter digestibility (OMD) were different between treatments with 0 and 4% of QTE/kg DM (P < 0.05). Total volatile fatty acid and the molar proportion of acetate in the rumen was not affected (P < 0.05); however, the molar proportion of propionate increased linearly (P < 0.01) for treatments with 3 and 4% QTE. Total CH4 production decreased linearly (P < 0.01) as QTE increased in the diet, particularly with 3 and 4% concentration. When expressed as DMI and OMI by CH4, production (L/kg) was different between treatments with 0 vs 3 and 4% QTE (P < 0.05). It is concluded that the addition of QTE at 2 or 3% of dry matter ration can decrease methane production up to 29 and 41%, respectively, without significantly compromising feed intake and nutrients digestibility.
KeywordsGreenhouse gas Secondary compounds Ruminant nutrition
The senior author is grateful to CONACYT-Mexico for granting a PhD scholarship at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Yucatan, Merida, Mexico.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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