Interpretive Summary: Effects of dietary supplementation with 3-nitrooxypropanol on enteric methane production, rumen fermentation, and performance in young growing beef cattle offered a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet
By: Stuart F Kirwan, Luis F M Tamassia, Nicola D Walker, Alexios Karagiannis, Maik Kindermann, Sinéad M Waters
Enteric methane (CH4) is a by-product from the fermentation of feed in the digestive tract of cattle. The production of CH4 is responsible for the loss of 2% to 12% of the animal’s gross energy intake. A potent greenhouse gas, CH4 from ruminant systems accounts for 30% of international anthropogenic CH4 emissions. As a result, a significant effort has been made internationally to reduce CH4 emissions from ruminants in order to achieve reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The supplementation of additives in the feed has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy in reducing CH4 emitted from livestock. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of supplementing young growing cattle with the CH4 inhibitor, 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), consuming a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. A total of 68 Dairy × Beef (Aberdeen Angus and Hereford dairy cross) male calves (≤6 mo of age at the start of the experiment) were assigned to one of two treatments: control (no 3-NOP) and 3-NOP. Animals received their diets for 12 wk. Animal performance was recorded weekly, with CH4 and hydrogen (H2) emissions recorded daily. Dry matter intake and animal performance were not affected by the inclusion of 3-NOP. Over the duration of this study, the inclusion of 3-NOP decreased daily CH4 emissions by 30.6%, with a 227% increase in daily H2 emissions.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.