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Ruminal methane emission by goats consuming dry hay of condensed tannin-containing lespedeza with or without polyethylene glycol, alfalfa, or sorghum-sudangrass

R. Puchala, G. Animut, A. L. Goetsch, A. K. Patra, T. Sahlu, V. H. Varel, and J. Wells

Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Goats. Page 98-99. International Goat Association. 2008

Twenty-four yearling Boer Spanish wethers (initial BW of 37.7 1.09) were used to assess effects of different sources of dry hay on ruminal methane emission. Treatments were a legume (Sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata) high in condensed tannins (CT; 15.3%) without (S) or with (P) polyethylene glycol (25 g/d mixed with 50 g/d of ground corn), a legume without appreciable CT (alfalfa, Medicago sativa, 0.2% CT; A), and also a grass low in CT (sorghum-sudangrass, Sorghum bicolor, 0.2% CT; G). Hay was fed at approximately 1.3 times the maintenance energy requirement. The experiment lasted 15 days, with the first 7 days for adaptation. Intake of DM was 849, 937, 732, and 655 g/day for S, P, A, and G, respectively (SE = 50.5). There were differences (P < 0.05) in OM digestibility (54.5, 60.1, 62.7, and 62.6%; SE = 1.29), digested OM (438, 534, 429, and 378 g/day; SE = 33.7), and energy expenditure (370, 435, 459, and 405 kJ/kg BW0.75 for S, P, A, and G, respectively; SE = 16.4). Methane emission was 14.3, 19.5, 19.8, and 17.9 l/day for S, P, A, and G, respectively (SE = 1.05), being lowest among treatments for S (P < 0.05). Similarly, methane emission relative to digested OM was lowest (P < 0.05) for S (43.5, 55.4, 60.7, and 62.8 l/kg for S, P, A, and G, respectively; SE = 4.17). Treatment differences also existed (P < 0.05) in vitro methane release by ruminal fluid incubated for 3 weeks with conditions promoting activity by methanogens (7.8, 11.7, 13.1, and 13.5 ml for S, P, A, and G, respectively; SE = 1.23). Findings in a previous experiment with fresh forage were similar (15.8, 20.2, 21.3, and 21.6 l of methane/day; 35.2, 45.4, 48.6, and 45.2 l of methane/kg digested OM; 12.9, 21.8, 25.3, and 28.5 ml in vitro methane release for S, P, A, and G, respectively). In summary, effects of CT in S in depressing ruminal methane emission by goats appear similar with dry hay and fresh forage.


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