Methane production in dairy cows

Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of a mixture of dietary additives on enteric methane production, rumen fermentation, diet digestibility, energy balance, and animal performance in lactating dairy cows. Identical diets were fed in both experiments. The mixture of feed additives investigated contained lauric acid, myristic acid, linseed oil, and calcium fumarate. These additives were included at 0,4, 1,2, 1,5, and 0,7pc of dietary dry matter, respectively (treatment ADD). Experimental fat sources were exchanged for a rumen inert source of fat in the control diet (treatment CON) to maintain isolipidic rations. Cows (experiment 1, n = 20; experiment 2, n = 12) were fed restricted amounts of feed to avoid confounding effects of dry matter intake on methane production. In experiment 1, methane production and energy balance were studied using open-circuit indirect calorimetry. In experiment 2, 10 rumen-fistulated animals were used to measure rumen fermentation characteristics. In both experiments animal performance was monitored.

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