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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Lexington, Kentucky » Forage-animal Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350737

Research Project: Optimizing the Biology of the Animal-Plant Interface for Improved Sustainability of Forage-Based Animal Enterprises

Location: Forage-animal Production Research

Title: Effects of different levels of lespedeza and supplementation with monensin, coconut oil, or soybean oil on ruminal methane emission by mature Boer goat wethers after different lengths of feeding

Author
item Puchala, R - Langston University
item Leshure, S - Langston University
item Gipson, T - Langston University
item Tesfai, K - Langston University
item Flythe, Michael
item Goetsch, A - Langston University

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Animal Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2018
Publication Date: 5/8/2018
Citation: Puchala, R., LeShure, S., Gipson, T.A., Tesfai, K., Flythe, M.D., Goetsch, A.L. 2018. Effects of different levels of lespedeza and supplementation with monensin, coconut oil, or soybean oil on ruminal methane emission by mature Boer goat wethers after different lengths of feeding. Journal of Applied Animal Research. 46(1): 1127-1136.

Interpretive Summary: A number of means to decrease methane emission by domesticated ruminant livestock have been studied. Various additives and natural feed ingredients have received attention, one of the earliest being ionophores, like monensin. In some cases, consumer pressure has caused shifts from such substances towards 'natural' alternatives. The objective of the experiment was to evaluate effects of different levels of a forage source containing Sericea lespedeza that is high in condensed tannins on ruminal methane emission by meat goats. The effect of Sericea lespedeza was compared to potential changes with inclusion of an ionophore and coconut or soybean oil. All of the treatments decreased methane from the goats (28-37% decrease compared to goats receiving only the alfalfa diet). The methane is made by microorganisms in the rumen of the goat. In other studies, the rumen microorganisms have responded to methane suppression by eventually adapting and returning to unsuppressed levels of methane production. In this experiment, however, methane production remained suppressed. This research suggests the certain Sericea lespedeza condensed tannins can be used to mitigate methane production from meat goats.

Technical Abstract: Mature Boer goat wethers were supplemented with 0.5% BW rolled corn and consumed pelleted alfalfa (CON), pelleted Sericea lespedeza (HSL; 6.4% condensed tannins), a 1:1 mixture of alfalfa and lespedeza (MSL), or alfalfa with monensin (ION; 22 mg/kg), coconut oil (CCO; 4%), or soybean oil (SBO; 4%). Total DM intake in the 20-wk study (3.86, 3.75, 3.52, 3.69, and 3.64% BW) and total tract OM digestibility determined every 5 wk (72.8, 69.5, 70.3, 72.0, and 71.1%) were not affected by treatment, although there were differences in nitrogen digestion (77.5, 70.7, 67.0, 77.0, 75.7, and 73.6% for CON, MSL, HSL, ION, CCO, and SBO, respectively; SEM = 1.76). Ruminal methane emission was not influenced by period and was lowest among treatments for CON expressed as percentages of gross (10.3, 6.8, 6.3, 7.2, 6.5, and 6.5%; SEM = 0.35) and digestible energy (14.8, 10.2, 9.3, 10.6, 9.8, and 10.1% for CON, MSL, HSL, ION, CCO, and SBO, respectively; SEM = 0.62). In conclusion, both levels of lespedeza elicited similar depressions in ruminal methane emission, with a magnitude of change similar to that of an ionophore and coconut and soybean oils, and effects did not vary with week of the study.