There are contradicting data in the literature regarding condensed tannins content in carobs. In this study, urea (0.5 g/ml) under reflux conditions increased dramatically the yield of condensed tannins to 17% of dry matter, as compared to 3.5% in acidic methanol extraction. This shows that carob pods are rich source of nonextractable condensed tannins. The effect of PEG in diet rich in carob pods on voluntary feed intake, digestibility and growth in weaning kids was studied during 15 days of balance trials in 24 kids distributed into three dietary treatments. The corn grain and wheat bran components in the control diet (diet 1) were replaced by carob in treatments 2 and 3; treatment 3 was supplemented by 3.3% of PEG of molecular weight-4000. Food intake, diet utilization and growth rate of weaning kids fed a diet containing 52% carob pods were decreased considerably in comparison to kids fed the control commercial diet. Supplementing the kids fed the carob-based diet with PEG increased feed intake, crude protein digestibility and growth to the rate obtained with the control diet. The nutritional experiment highlights the following aspects relevant to all mammals consuming carob pods rich diets: (i) tannins increased the variability in feed intake between days, (ii) hypocholesterolemic effect of carob pods is related to lipid binding capacity of nonextractable condensed tannins in the digestive tract, (iii) supplementing high level of carob pods to animals with normal blood cholesterol level may induce hypocholesterolemia. D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.