The distribution of condensed tannins (CT) in plants, their mode of action and benefits to ruminant nutrition are briefly reviewed. Data are presented showing the CT in lotus species reduced rumen degradation of protein and increased its flow to the intestine, but an increased amino acid absorption only occurred with Lotus corniculatus, suggesting the CT in Lotus pedunculatus prevented enzymic hydrolysis of the protected protein. The extent to which CT in Lotus pendunculatus depressed nitrogen (N) digestion was similar when fed as a sole diet and when fed as a third of the diet with pasture. The implications of these results are that both concentration and type of CT are important in affecting nutritive value, and that these factors need to be resolved before an effective plant selection program can be undertaken.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 53-56, 1992
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