Evaluation of methane production manipulated by level of intake in growing cattle and corn oil in finishing cattle

Tommy M. Winders, Bradley M. Boyd, F. Henry Hilscher, Rick R. Stowell, Samodha C. Fernando, Galen E. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Growing crossbred steers [n = 80, initial body weight (BW) = 274 kg, SD = 21] were used to evaluate the effect of ad libitum and limit-fed intakes on methane (CH4) production. Two treatments with four pens per treatment (10 steers per pen) were evaluated in a randomized block designed experiment, with BW as a blocking factor. Treatments included feeding the same diet at ad libitum intake or limit fed at 75% of ad libitum intakes. Diet consisted of 45% alfalfa, 30% sorghum silage, 22% modified distillers grains plus solubles, and supplement at 3% on a dry matter (DM) basis. This trial was followed by a finishing trial (n = 80; initial BW = 369 kg; SD = 25) to evaluate the effects of dietary corn oil on CH4 production. Two treatments with four pens per treatment (10 steers per pen) were used in a randomized complete block designed experiment. Cattle were rerandomized and blocked by BW within the previous treatment. Treatments consisted of a control diet (CON) containing 66% corn, 15% wet distillers grains plus solubles, 15% corn silage, and 4% supplement (DM basis). Corn oil treatment (OIL) displaced 3% corn by adding corn oil. Methane was collected in two pen-scale chambers by collecting air samples continuously from pens by rotating every 6 min with an ambient sample taken between pen measurements. Steers fed ad libitum had greater DM intake (DMI) by design and greater average daily gain (ADG; P < 0.01) compared to limit-fed cattle; however, feed efficiency 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 per steer daily). In the finishing trial, BW, gains, and carcass traits were not impacted by treatment (P ≥ 0.14). Feed efficiency (P = 0.02) improved because intakes decreased (P = 0.02) by feeding OIL compared to CON. Daily CH4 production was less (P = 0.03) for OIL-fed cattle (115 g per steer daily) compared to CON-fed cattle (132 g per steer daily). Methane was reduced (P < 0.01) by 17% for OIL-fed cattle compared to CON-fed cattle when expressed as grams of CH4 per kilogram of ADG. Feeding corn oil at 3% of diet DM reduced enteric CH4 production (grams per day) by 15%, which was only partially explained by a 3% decrease in DMI. Overall, a decrease in CH4 was observed when intake is limited in growing cattle and when corn oil is added in finishing diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertxaa186
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • beef cattle
  • corn oil
  • intake
  • methane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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