Influence of Condensed Tannins from Ficus bengalensis Leaves on Feed Utilization, Milk Production and Antioxidant Status of Crossbred Cows

  • Dey, Avijit (Regional Research Sub-Station and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya) ;
  • De, Partha Sarathi (Department of Botany, Sonamukhi College, University of Burdwan)
  • Received : 2013.05.22
  • Accepted : 2013.09.30
  • Published : 2014.03.01


This study was conducted to examine the effects of condensed tannins (CT) from Ficus bengalensis leaves on the feed utilization, milk production and health status of crossbred cows. Eighteen crossbred dairy cows at their second and mid lactation (avg. BW $351.6{\pm}10.6$ kg) were randomly divided into two groups of nine each in a completely randomized block design and fed two iso-nitrogenous supplements formulated to contain 0% and 1.5% CT through dried and ground leaves of Ficus bengalensis. The diets were designated as CON and FBLM, respectively and fed to cows with a basal diet of rice straw to meet requirements for maintenance and milk production. The daily milk yield was significantly (p<0.05) increased due to supplementation of FBLM diet. The 4% fat corrected milk yield was also significantly (p<0.01) higher due to increased (p<0.05) milk fat in cows under diet FBLM as compared to CON. The inclusion of CT at 1.5% in the supplement did not interfere with the feed intake or digestibility of DM, OM, CP, EE, NDF, and ADF by lactating cows. Digestible crude protein (DCP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN) values of the composite diets were comparable between the groups. The blood biochemical parameters remained unaltered except significantly (p<0.05) lowered serum urea concentration in cows fed FBLM diet. There was a significant (p<0.05) increase intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity in cows supplemented with condensed tannins. The total thiol group (T-SH) was found to be higher with reduction in lipid peroxidation (LPO) in cows of FBLM group. The cost of feeding per kg milk production was also reduced due to supplementation of Ficus bengalensis leaves. Therefore, a perceptible positive impact was evident on milk production and antioxidant status in crossbred cows during mid-lactation given supplement containing 1.5% CT through Ficus bengalensis leaves.


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