Archivos Latinoamericanos de Producción Animal, Vol 23, No 6 (2015)

Tamaño de la letra:  Pequeña  Mediana  Grande

Using condensed tannin containing forages to establish sustainable and productive forage-based cattle production systems

Tim A. McAllister, Surya N. Acharya, Yuxi Wang, Edmond T. Sottie

Resumen


Legumes play a key role in ruminant production systems, with alfalfa being the most common legume forage in temperate climates. Alfalfa can maintain high production levels in grazing livestock, but its propensity to cause bloating discourages its inclusion at high planting densities. Alfalfa produces high molecular weight polyphenols known as condensed tannins, in their seed coat, while other legumes such as the corniculated lotus (Lotus corniculatus L.), wild chickpea (Astragalus cicer L.), purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea Vent) and esparceta (Onobrychis vicifolia Scop.) produce condensed tannins in varying degrees. Condensed tannins (CT) are responsible for their bloat-safe nature, improving the use of ruminal N, controlling intestinal parasites, reducing Escherichia coli in faeces and possibly enteric methane emissions. Tympanism of grasses is almost always of the foamy type and arises as a result of complex interactions between the animal, the forage and the rumen microbiome. The risk that lucerne causes bloating is greater when it is in the vegetative stage and becomes considerably smaller as it enters the flowering stage. The risk of bloating in cattle pasturing alfalfa can be reduced through various management practices. Cutting and withering the alfalfa before allowing cattle access to the paddock can drastically reduce the incidence of bloat. The sainfoin is comparable to alfalfa in nutritional quality and results in average daily gains in cattle that are similar to alfalfa. The CTs they contain are of high molecular weight and show a greater affinity for Rubisco than most other CT scans, which possibly gives them a superior ability to prevent tympanism. Among TC forages, foam is perhaps the most adaptable for use in a high-performance grazing system where it is grown in mixed stands with alfalfa.

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