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Evaluation of Methane Production Manipulated by Level of Intake in Growing Cattle and Corn Oil in Finishing Cattle

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-146)
Authors:   T. M. Winders, B. M. Boyd, F. H. Hilscher, R S. Stowell, S. C. Fernando, G. E. Erickson
Keywords:   beef cattle, intake, methane, nutrition, oil.

Abstract. Crossbred steers (n=80; initial BW = 274 kg, SD = 21) were used to evaluate the effect of intake on CH4 and CO2 production in growing steers. Treatments included feeding the same diet at two levels: ad-libitum or limit-fed at 75% of ad libitum. This trial was followed by a finishing trial (n=80; initial BW = 369 kg; SD = 25) to evaluate the effects of adding dietary corn oil on CH4 and CO2 production. The corn oil treatment (OIL) displaced corn by adding 3% corn oil. Methane was collected in 2 pen-scale chambers (pens) by collecting air samples continuously. Steers fed ad-libitum gained more weight and ate more feed by design (P < 0.01) compared to limit-fed cattle; however, efficiency of feed utilization was not different between treatments (P = 0.40). Cattle fed ad-libitum produced 156 g/d of CH4, which was greater (P < 0.01) than limit-fed cattle (126 g/steer daily). On an equivalent DMI basis, limit-fed steers tended to produce more CH4 (P = 0.07) than ad-libitum fed steers. In the finishing phase, body weight, gains, and carcass traits were not impacted by treatment (P > 0.14). Efficiency of feed use (P =0.03) improved because intakes (P = 0.03) decreased by feeding OIL compared to CON. Daily CH4 production was lower (P < 0.01) for the OIL fed cattle (115 g/steer daily) compared to the CON fed cattle (132 g/ steer daily). Methane as a proportion of intake was lower (P < 0.02) for the OIL treatment compared to CON.

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