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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Condensed Tannin in Drinking Water of Cattle and Sheep to Reduce Their Urine Urea Excretion and Subsequent Ammonia Pollution.

item Kronberg, Scott

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 28, 2006
Publication Date: June 5, 2006
Citation: Kronberg, S.L. 2006. Condensed tannin in drinking water of cattle and sheep to reduce their urine urea excretion and subsequent ammonia pollution. Meeting Abstract. Proc. Workshop Agric. Air Qual. 1:835-837.

Technical Abstract: Methods are needed to reduce urine urea excretion and consequent ammonia emission that is associated with ruminant meat and milk production while not reducing productivity. Ingestion of small amounts of naturally-occurring condensed tannin by ruminants can reduce their urine urea excretion and improve their productivity. However, providing grazing ruminants with pasture forages such as birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) that contain condensed tannin is problematic. Therefore, I have conducted trials to determine if sheep and cattle will readily drink water containing small amounts of condensed tannin and found that they will. This paper reports results of a trial with a latin-square design where four wether sheep (mean body weight 64.8 kg with 5.4 SD) were fed alfalfa pellets (3.5% nitrogen) and given tap water or tap water with low (0.5% of daily dry matter intake (DDMI)), medium (1.0% of DDMI) or high (1.5% of DDMI) amounts of quebracho tannin (QT) in it and their urine urea excretion was measured. There was a linear effect of QT intake on daily urine urea excretion as a percentage of nitrogen intake (P = 0.03). Ingestion of water containing the low, medium and high levels of QT resulted in reductions in daily urea excretion as a percentage of nitrogen intake of 3.5, 6.6, and 12.6%, respectively. Results from my other studies indicate that even greater reductions in urine urea output may be possible by placing small amounts of condensed tannin in the drinking water of cattle and sheep. This can likely be done while maintaining or improving their productivity.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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