Do supplements of Acacia mearnsii and grapeseed extracts alone or in combination alleviate metabolic nitrogen load and manure nitrogen emissions of lambs fed a high crude protein diet uri icon

abstract

  • Diets excessive in crude protein (CP) are unfavourable in terms of metabolic and environmental load. Dietary phenols, often binding to dietary proteins, may alleviate these problems. In an experiment with 60 lambs (3.2 +/- 1.6 months of age; 29.7 +/- 5.1 kg body weight), kept in pairs, five diets were tested. A diet with 157 g CP/kg dry matter (DM) served as negative control. Four diets with on average 229 (225-233) g CP/kg DM remained either non-supplemented or were supplemented with 13 g/kg DM of Acacia mearnsii extract, grapeseed extract, or a combination of both (26 g extract/kg DM). The analysed concentrations of total extractable phenols were 7.1, 8.1, 14.3, 16.6 and 25.4 g/kg DM for low (CP-) and high CP (CP+), and high CP with acacia (CP+A), grapeseed (CP+G) and acacia plus grapeseed (CP+AG), respectively. Diets were fed for 10 weeks, and for 6 d faeces and urine were collected and subsequently stored as complete manure for 8 weeks. In blood plasma, phenol concentrations and activities of enzymes indicating liver and kidney stress were analysed. The CP+ diet increased apparent digestibility of N and its removal with the urine, with the expected increase in gaseous N emissions from the manure (13.5 vs 6.5 g/lamb per day during 8 weeks) compared to CP-. However, no clear signs of metabolic stress were detected. Supplementing the extracts did not impair intake, growth performance and digestibility. Only the supplementation with both extracts decreased urinary N proportion of manure N, and the concomitant weak decline in gaseous emission from the manure was not significant. At least part of the phenols of both extracts seem to be bioavailable as their supplementation elevated blood plasma phenol concentrations by 15% to 40% compared to CP+. A combination of both extracts did not result in a further increase. Further studies have to identify the minimally effective dosage for reducing N emissions, which, at the same time, does not cause adverse side effects in performance.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019