|MIN, BYENG - Tuskegee University|
|HERNANDEZ, K - University Of Puerto Rico|
|PINCHAK, WILLIAM - Texas A&M Agrilife|
|MILLER, JAMES - Louisiana State University|
|VALENCIA, ELIDE - University Of Puerto Rico|
Submitted to: Open Journal of Animal Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2015
Publication Date: 7/22/2015
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5508065
Citation: Min, B.R., Hernandez, K., Pinchak, W.E., Anderson, R.C., Miller, J.E., Valencia, E. 2015. Effects of plant tannin extracts supplementation on animal performance and gastrointestinal parasites infestation in steers grazing winter wheat. Open Journal of Animal Sciences. 5:343-350.
Interpretive Summary: Tannins are a class of natural chemicals commonly extracted from leaves and bark of certain plants, such as those used to produce teas, but also are extracted from other plants having potent anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-parasite activity. In this study, twenty-six grazing cattle were used to quantify the effect of commercial plant tannins extracted from mimosa and chestnut trees on animal performance, gastrointestinal parasites, and plasma metabolite changes. Initial live-weight was similar among untreated cattle and cattle treated with either mimosa or chestnut tannins, although average daily gain was increased 8 to 19% in the tannin treated cattle when compared to untreated controls. Measurements of fecal egg counts for a parasite named Haemonchus contortus was higher for mimosa-treated cattle than for the untreated control cattle and these egg counts were intermediate in the chestnut-treated cattle. Fecal egg counts of another parasite named Ostertagia was lower for cattle treated with the chestnut tannins than for both the untreated control and mimosa-treated cattle. Conversely, fecal egg counts for the parasite Cooperia were lower for cattle treated with the mimosa tannins than for both control and chestnut-treated cattle. Measurements of blood metabolites were similar among treatments, except blood cholesterol level was higher for chestnut-treated cattle and intermediate for mimosa-treated cattle when compared to untreated control cattle, but the cholesterol levels became statistically similar between all cattle after 20 days cessation of tannins treatments. These results indicate that grazing cattle supplemented with plant tannins had a faster daily growth rate than untreated control cattle and further revealed that it may be best to combine the tannin treatments to achieve optimal anti-parasite effects. Ultimately, this research will help provide farmers and ranchers a natural way to protect their cattle from parasitic infections while increasing production efficiency, thereby lowering the cost of meat and milk for the American consumer.
Technical Abstract: Twenty-six stocker cattle (286.1 ± 25.7 kg) were used to quantify the effect of commercial plant tannin extracts (control vs. mimosa and chestnut tannins) on animal performance, gastrointestinal parasites control, and plasma metabolite changes in heifers grazing winter wheat forage (Triticum aestivum L. var. "cutter"). The forage biomass and crude protein content were generally similar among treatments. Initial live-weight (LW) was similar among treatments, although final LW (P = 0.1) and average daily gain (ADG; P < 0.01) differed. Logarithmic (log) fecal egg counts (FEC) for Haemonchus contortus was higher (P < 0.02) for mimosa tannins group than for control group, and chestnut tannins group was intermediate in cattle grazing wheat forage on day 35. Logarithmic FEC for Ostertagia was lower (P < 0.05) for chestnut tannins group than for both control and mimosa tannins group on day 41. However, log FEC for Cooperia was lower (P < 0.04) for mimosa tannins than for both control and chestnut tannins group. Blood parameters were similar among treatments, except cholesterol level on day 70. Blood cholesterol level was higher (P < 0.02) for chestnut tannins group than for control, and intermediate for mimosa tannins. However, cholesterol level was similar among treatment after 20 days cessation of tannins treatments. Our data suggest that heifers grazing winter wheat forage supplemented with plant tannins rather than control (non-tannins group) increased ADG (8% to 19%) for mimosa and chestnut tannins groups, respectively with no detectable detrimental effects on animal health. The increase in ADG may be due to decreased fecal parasites infections.