Self Regulation of Intake of Polyethylene Glycol by Sheep Fed Diets Varying in Tannin Concentrations

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Animal Science

Publication Date







Tannins occur in many plant species, and they often suppress intake by reducing nutrient availability or by causing malaise. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) binds to tannins and may thereby increase the availability of macronutrients and decrease malaise. Supplemental PEG increases intake of tannin-containing plants by sheep, goats, and cattle. Given the strong response to supplemental PEG, we speculated that animals might self-regulate their intake of PEG when offered foods high in tannins. The objective of the first experiment was to determine if the amount of supplemental PEG (0, 25, 50, 75, or 100 g; molecular weight, 3,350) affected intake by lambs of a food (milo-tannin mix) containing 20% quebracho tannin. There was a linear relationship (Y = 272 + 1.2X; R2 = .86; P = .023) between the amount of supplemental PEG ingested and the subsequent intake of milo-tannin food by lambs. The objective of the second experiment was to determine whether lambs self-regulated intake of PEG when fed a ration that contained 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20% quebracho tannin and whether they adjusted their intake of PEG when tannin was removed from the diet. There was a positive relationship between the amount of PEG ingested and intake of food and tannin (P = .0001). Lambs fed high-tannin diets ate more PEG than controls (P = .03). Lambs fed the 20% tannin diet ate the most PEG, and controls ate the least PEG. Tannin limited intake of the diets, but PEG attenuated the response to a great degree (P = .065). Immediately after tannin was removed from the ration, lambs that formerly had been fed the 20% tannin ration ate more PEG than lambs fed the other rations (P = .0075). Ten of the lambs (5 from the 20% tannin group, 1 from the 15% tannin, and 2 each from the 10 and 5% groups) continued to eat PEG for 7 d after tannin was removed from their ration. When they were tested again 6 wk after the trial and offered tannin-free diets, their intake of PEG had decreased.

First Page


Last Page