Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #284655

Title: Effects of adding protein, condensed tannins, and polyethylene glycol to diets of sheep and goats fed one-seed juniper and low quality roughage

item UTSUMI, S.A. - New Mexico State University
item CIBILS, ANDRES - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item SOTO-NAVARARO, S.A. - New Mexico State University
item CHENG, L. - New Mexico State University
item HALLFORD, DENNIS - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Small Ruminant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2012
Publication Date: 4/11/2013
Citation: Utsumi, S., Cibils, A.F., Estell, R.E., Soto-Navararo, S., Cheng, L., Hallford, D. 2013. Effects of adding protein, condensed tannins, and polyethylene glycol to diets of sheep and goats fed one-seed juniper and low quality roughage. Small Ruminant Research. 112:56-68.

Interpretive Summary: Shrub invasion of rangelands has important implications for livestock foraging. Although shrubs are often nutrient rich, they typically have secondary compounds that can affect with intake and metabolism. A better understanding of the effects of secondary compounds on rumen fermentation is needed. Sheep and goats were fed one-seed juniper (a shrub containing terpenes) plus a series of treatments (protein supplementation, quebracho tannins, and polyethylene glycol). Some plasma amino acids were increased by feeding protein supplements, whereas total volatile fatty acids (energy endproducts from digestion) tended to increase in sheep and goats fed protein supplements. Juniper decreased plasma concentrations of several amino acids (including methionine and threonine), although some were partially restored by polyethylene glycol. Cumulatively, these results suggest juniper consumption may negatively affect amino acid balance during detoxification of secondary compounds, although some positive effects on energy status were observed.

Technical Abstract: The biochemical mechanisms that limit voluntary intake of one-seed juniper by browsing ruminants are not well understood. Twelve Rambouillet ewes (78 ± 2.3 kg BW) and 12 Boer-Spanish does (54 ± 1.4 kg BW) were used in a split-plot sequence design to investigate the effects of adding protein, quebracho tannins (QTs), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) on one-seed juniper intake and preference and on ruminal VFA and plasma AA concentrations. Animals received sudangrass hay and isoenergetic basal diets (4 does and 4 ewes/diet) with either rumen degradable (RDP) or rumen undegradable (RUP) protein (12.5% CP) or no additional protein (control, 5% CP) during four 15-d periods. The control, RDP, and RUP diets were considered the main plot, whereas the four supplement treatments were analyzed as the split-plot effects. Period 1 allowed for adaptation to basal diets and served as a baseline phase. In periods 2–4, animals were offered juniper leaves and twigs (period 2), juniper plus QT (10% of basal diet; period 3), and juniper plus QT plus PEG (50 g/animal; period 4). Juniper intake by sheep and goats was not affected (P > 0.88) by RDP or RUP when animals were first exposed to juniper, but marginally increased (P < 0.10) in period 4 (QT + PEG) regardless of the basal diet. Prior exposure to juniper did not affect (P = 0.61) the preference ratio for juniper, but goats had higher preference ratio for juniper (P < 0.01) when receiving PEG (period 4). Concentrations of total VFA tended to increase in sheep (P = 0.10) and goats (P = 0.14) fed protein supplements and molar proportions shifted toward acetate for goats fed RDP and RUP (P = 0.07) and to butyrate for sheep fed RDP (P = 0.01). Initial juniper exposure (period 2) elevated concentrations of acetate, propionate, and butyrate (P < 0.01), but the effect was extinguished in periods 3 and 4 with addition of QT (P < 0.05). Supplementation with PEG transiently mitigated the depressor effect of QT on acetate, propionate, and butyrate concentration at 12 h post juniper feeding (P < 0.01). RDP in goats and to a greater extent RUP in sheep increased plasma concentrations of various AA, especially the branched chained Val, Ile, and Leu (P < 0.05). Plasma concentrations of several AA, including Met, Cyst, Glu, Gly, Gln, Asn, Thr, Ser, and Phe, decreased with ingestion of juniper (period 2) and juniper plus QT (period 3). Concentrations of some AA that were depressed by ingestion of juniper and QT were partially restored with supplemental PEG (P < 0.05). Protein, terpenes, tannins, and PEG interacted to influence rumen VFA and plasma AA, which were related to intake of juniper and basal diets.