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Effects of forage source and extruded linseed supplementation on methane emissions from growing dairy cattle of differing body weights

Hammond, K. J., Humphries, D. J., Crompton, L. A., Kirton, P. ORCID: and Reynolds, C. K. ORCID: (2015) Effects of forage source and extruded linseed supplementation on methane emissions from growing dairy cattle of differing body weights. Journal of Dairy Science, 98 (11). pp. 8066-8077. ISSN 0022-0302

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3168/jds.2015-9669


Changes in diet carbohydrate amount and type (i.e., starch vs. fiber) and dietary oil supplements can affect ruminant methane emissions. Our objectives were to measure methane emissions, whole-tract digestibility, and energy and nitrogen utilization from growing dairy cattle at 2 body weight (BW) ranges, fed diets containing either high maize silage (MS) or high grass silage (GS), without or with supplemental oil from extruded linseed (ELS). Four Holstein-Friesian heifers aged 13 mo (BW range from start to finish of 382 to 526 kg) were used in experiment 1, whereas 4 lighter heifers aged 12 mo (BW range from start to finish of 292 to 419 kg) were used in experiment 2. Diets were fed as total mixed rations with forage dry matter (DM) containing high MS or high GS and concentrates in proportions (forage:concentrate, DM basis) of either 75:25 (experiment 1) or 60:40 (experiment 2), respectively. Diets were supplemented without or with ELS (Lintec[AU1: Add manufacturer name and location.]; 260 g of oil/ kg of DM) at 6% of ration DM. Each experiment was a 4 × 4 Latin square design with 33-d periods, with measurements during d 29 to 33 while animals were housed in respiration chambers. Heifers fed MS at a heavier BW (experiment 1) emitted 20% less methane per unit of DM intake (yield) compared with GS (21.4 vs. 26.6, respectively). However, when repeated with heifers of a lower BW (experiment 2), methane yield did not differ between the 2 diets (26.6 g/kg of DM intake). Differences in heifer BW had no overall effect on methane emissions, except when expressed as grams per kilogram of digestible organic matter (OMD) intake (32.4 vs. 36.6, heavy vs. light heifers). Heavier heifers fed MS in experiment 1 had a greater DM intake (9.4 kg/d) and lower OMD (755 g/kg), but no difference in N utilization (31% of N intake) compared with heifers fed GS (7.9 kg/d and 799 g/kg, respectively). Tissue energy retention was nearly double for heifers fed MS compared with GS in experiment 1 (15 vs. 8% of energy intake, respectively). Heifers fed MS in experiment 2 had similar DM intake (7.2 kg/d) and retention of energy (5% of intake energy) and N (28% of N intake), compared with GS-fed heifers, but OMD was lower (741 vs. 765 g/kg, respectively). No effect of ELS was noted on any of the variables measured, irrespective of animal BW, and this was likely due to the relatively low amount of supplemental oil provided. Differences in heifer BW did not markedly influence dietary effects on methane emissions. Differences in methane yield were attributable to differences in dietary starch and fiber composition associated with forage type and source.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences > Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences (ADFCS)- DO NOT USE
ID Code:42566
Uncontrolled Keywords:methane, dairy cattle, forage, oil supplementation

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