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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #264930

Title: Effects of oxygenated drinking water on gaseous emissions, rumen microorganisms and milk production in dairy cattle

item McGarvey, Jeffery - Jeff
item NEUMEIER, CLAYTONJ - University Of California
item MITLOEHNER, FRANK - University Of California

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dairy cattle production systems contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly in the form of methane. Enteric methane is formed by methanogenic archaea (methanogens) that require anaerobic conditions to thrive. A water treatment system (Oxion, Hugoton, KS) increases the dissolved oxygen concentration in drinking water. We hypothesize that by increasing the dissolved oxygen concentration of the rumen through intake of oxygenated drinking water, one creates an environment detrimental to the proliferation of methanogens. The present study evaluated carbonaceous and nitrogenous gaseous emissions in addition to performance parameters. Thirty-six lactating Holstein dairy cows were used in a completely randomized design. The cows were assigned to two treatment groups: control water and oxygenated drinking water (CON and OXI, respectively). The cows were housed in three groups of six animals within each treatment (n = 3). Dry matter intake (DMI), water intake and milk yield were recorded daily. Rumen fluid samples were extracted via an orogastric tube and quantified for bacteria, methanogens and protozoa. Cows were placed inside an environmental chamber to measure carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ammonia (California Analytical Instruments’ INNOVA 1412, Orange, CA) and methane (Thermo Environmental Instruments’ Model 55C, Franklin, MA). All measurements were analyzed using Proc Mixed in SAS. The DMI, water intake and energy corrected milk yield were similar but OXI vs. CON treated cattle showed decreased milk yield (P<0.01). Bacteria, methanogen and protozoa quantification yielded no significant differences. While methane production was similar ammonia emission increased for OXI vs. CON treated cattle (P<0.05). Introduction of excess oxygen to the rumen via drinking water did not produce the anticipated effect on methane reduction but instead seems to cause changes in nitrogen cycling of the animal which deserves further investigation.