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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Feed intake, methane yield, and efficiency of utilization of energy and nitrogen by sheep fed tropical grasses

de Azevedo, Eduardo Bohrer; Savian, Jean Victor; do Amaral, Glaucia Azevedo; de David, Diego Bitencourt; Gere, Jose Ignacio; Kohmann, Marta Moura; Bremm, Carolina; Jochims, Felipe; Zubieta, Angel Sanchez; Gonda, Horacio Leandro; Bayer, Cimelio; de Faccio Carvalho, Paulo Cesar

Abstract

Forage allowance impacts dry matter (DM) intake and the use of nutrients by ruminants. The efficient use of protein and energy from pasture is related to better livestock performance and lower environmental impacts. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of forage allowance levels on intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) and energy balance, and methane (CH4) emissions by lambs fed fresh pearl millet [Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke]. An indoor trial was performed using lambs in a completely randomized design with four treatments [forage allowance at 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 kg DM/100 kg of live weight (LW), and ad libitum allowing 20% of refusals] and four replicates (lambs). Forage intake, digestibility, total urine and feces excretion, and CH4 emission were measured to calculate N and energy balances. An increase in forage allowance resulted in a linear increase in lamb forage intake, N retention, and metabolizable energy intake. Moreover, lamb CH4 emission (g/day) also increased with greater forage allowance, while CH4 yield decreased linearly as forage allowance increased. Our results indicate that maximizing forage intake improves N and energy use efficiency and mitigates CH4 yield and decreases CH4 conversion factor (Ym) by lambs fed pearl millet forage. Thus, management strategies that optimize intake of tropical forages by ruminants improve the use of nutrients ingested and mitigates negative impacts to the environment.

Keywords

Forage allowance; Forage digestibility; Greenhouse gas emissions; Nutrient use; Pearl millet

Published in

Tropical Animal Health and Production
2021, Volume: 53, number: 5, article number: 452
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02928-4

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/113753