Animal Nutrition

Reasearch related to Animal Nutrition

One method for improving nitrogen (N) utilisation by ruminants and reduce greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O), without altering their N and energy value, is to use forages that contain condensed tannins (CT), such as sainfoin. The nutritive value of sainfoin, despite its lower N content than lucerne, is high. Future research, on the nutritional impact of CT must not only be based on CT content, but also include structure-activity considerations.The results obtained, with sheep at maintenance fed a diet containing only sainfoin need to be tested with producing animals, for example growing sheep and cattle, lactating ewes, goats or cows. In producing animals the diet will comprise different forage sources and supplement feeds.
 
Sainfoin is seldom used as a pure crop and generally, introduced in pasture, in a grass-legume mix with cocksfoot (Dactyle), ryegrass (Lolium) or with other legumes such as red clover, white clover or lucerne. Our results showed the choice of the variety is important. A variety like Esparcette, characterised by the highest CT content, may provide beneficial effects with a lower proportion in a mixture with other legumes. Preserving legumes, as silage, is a good way to provide an on-farm source of home-grown energy and protein, offers advantages over traditional haymaking, being less weather-dependent, and allows a high quality of forage during the harvesting period. In particular, wrapped silage bales of sainfoin have great potential in animal nutrition and can be used by farmers, as found that CT effects were not reduced by this mode of preservation.

Sainfoin for Cattle forage

Sainfoin for Cattle forage

Sainfoin for Donkey forage

Sainfoin for Donkey forage

Animal Nutrition Experiments.  Copyright Dr. J. Aufrere & K. Theodoridou

Animal Nutrition Experiments. Copyright Dr. J. Aufrere & K. Theodoridou