Submitted to: Ruminant Physiology International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2004
Publication Date: 8/30/2004
Citation: Anderson, R.C., Carstens, G.E., Miller, R.K., Callaway, T.R., Schultz, C.L., Edrington, T.S., Harvey, R.B., Nisbet, D.J. 2004. Effect of nitroethane administration on ruminal VFA production and specific activity of methane production. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences. 13(Suppl. 1):23-26.
Interpretive Summary: The production of methane by microorganisms that live in the gut of sheep and cattle is an inefficient digestive process that reduces the animal's ability to obtain all the energy from the food it eats. We conducted an experiment to test if the chemical nitroethane could be safely fed to sheep to reduce the methane production. We found that nitroethane could indeed be safely fed to sheep and that doing so reduced the inefficient production of methane by as much as 69%. This research will ultimately benefit the American consumer by helping cattle and sheep farmers produce reduce their costs of producing beef, lamb and milk.
Technical Abstract: Oral administration of 120 mg nitroethane/kg body weight d**-1 to ewes reduced (P < 0.05) the specific activity of ruminal methane production (SARMP) by 26, 69 and 29% on days 1, 2 and 5 of treatment, respectively. Administration of 40 mg 2-nitroethane/kg body weight d**-1 reduced (P < 0.05) SARMP by 26 and 42% on days 1 and 2 but not on day 5 (13% reduction) of treatment. Rumen VFA production was unaffected by nitroethane administration. These results demonstrate that nitroethane reduces ruminal methanogenesis in vivo without redirecting the flow of reductant generated during fermentation to propionate and butyrate.