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The influence of dietary tannin supplementation on digestive performance in captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)


Clauss, M; Castell, J C; Kienzle, E; Dierenfeld, E S; Flach, E J; Behlert, O; Ortmann, S; Streich, W J; Hummel, J; Hatt, J M (2007). The influence of dietary tannin supplementation on digestive performance in captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 91(11-12):449-458.

Abstract

Free-ranging browsers such as the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) consume a diet that contains tannins, whereas the diets offered to them in captivity consist mostly of items known to contain hardly any such secondary plant compounds. Tannins could have potentially beneficial effects, including the chelation of dietary iron (iron storage disease is a common problem in black rhinos). Here, we tested the acceptance, and the consequences on digestion variables, of a low-dose tannin supplementation in captive animals. Eight black rhinoceroses from three zoological institutions were used. Faecal output was quantified by total faecal collection. Diets fed were regular zoo diets supplemented with either tannic acid (T, hydrolysable tannin) or quebracho (Q, condensed tannins); overall tannin source intake increased at 5-15 g/kg dry matter (DM) in relation to regular zoo diets. Adaptation periods to the new diets were >2 months. Additional data were taken from one hitherto unpublished study. Data were compared to measurements in the same animals on their regular zoo diets. All animals accepted the new diets without hesitation. There was no influence of tannin supplementation on digestion coefficients of DM and its constituents, or faecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids or lactate. Water intake did not increase during tannin supplementation. Should the inclusion of dietary tannin sources be an objective in the development of diets for captive rhinoceroses, moderate doses such as used in this study are unlikely to cause relevant depressions of digestive efficiency and will not interfere with bacterial fermentation in a relevant way.

Free-ranging browsers such as the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) consume a diet that contains tannins, whereas the diets offered to them in captivity consist mostly of items known to contain hardly any such secondary plant compounds. Tannins could have potentially beneficial effects, including the chelation of dietary iron (iron storage disease is a common problem in black rhinos). Here, we tested the acceptance, and the consequences on digestion variables, of a low-dose tannin supplementation in captive animals. Eight black rhinoceroses from three zoological institutions were used. Faecal output was quantified by total faecal collection. Diets fed were regular zoo diets supplemented with either tannic acid (T, hydrolysable tannin) or quebracho (Q, condensed tannins); overall tannin source intake increased at 5-15 g/kg dry matter (DM) in relation to regular zoo diets. Adaptation periods to the new diets were >2 months. Additional data were taken from one hitherto unpublished study. Data were compared to measurements in the same animals on their regular zoo diets. All animals accepted the new diets without hesitation. There was no influence of tannin supplementation on digestion coefficients of DM and its constituents, or faecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids or lactate. Water intake did not increase during tannin supplementation. Should the inclusion of dietary tannin sources be an objective in the development of diets for captive rhinoceroses, moderate doses such as used in this study are unlikely to cause relevant depressions of digestive efficiency and will not interfere with bacterial fermentation in a relevant way.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:23 Apr 2008 12:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0931-2439
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2006.00673.x
PubMed ID:17988348
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2329

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