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Long-term effects of feeding monensin on methane production in lactating dairy cows

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Title: Long-term effects of feeding monensin on methane production in lactating dairy cows
Author: Odongo, N.E.; Bagg, R.; Vessie, G.; Dick, P.; Or-Rashid, M.M.; Hook, S.E.; Gray, J.T.; Kebreab, E.; France, J.; McBride, B.W.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the long-term effects of feeding monensin on methane (CH4) production in lactating dairy cows. Twenty-four lactating Holstein dairy cows (1.46±0.17 parity; 620±5.9kg of live weight; 92.5±2.62 d in milk) housed in a tie-stall facility were used in the study. The study was conducted as paired comparisons in a completely randomized design with repeated measurements in a color-coded, double-blind experiment. The cows were paired by parity and days in milk and allocated to 1 of 2 treatments: 1) the regular milking cow total mixed ration (TMR) with a forage-to-concentrate ratio of 60:40 (control TMR; placebo premix) vs. a medicated TMR (monensin TMR; regular TMR + 24mg of Rumensin Premix/kg of dry matter) fed ad libitum. The animals were fed and milked twice daily (feeding at 0830 and 1300h; milking at 0500 and 1500h) and CH4 production was measured prior to introducing the treatments and monthly thereafter for 6 mo using an open-circuit indirect calorimetry system. Monensin reduced CH4 production by 7% (expressed as grams per day) and by 9% (expressed as grams per kilogram of body weight), which were sustained for 6 mo (mean, 458.7 vs. 428.7±7.75 g/d and 0.738 vs. 0.675±0.0141, control vs. monensin, respectively). Monensin reduced milk fat percentage by 9% (3.90 vs. 3.53±0.098%, control vs. monensin, respectively) and reduced milk protein by 4% (3.37 vs. 3.23±0.031%, control vs. monensin, respectively). Monensin did not affect the dry matter intake or milk yield of the cows. These results suggest that medicating a 60:40 forage-to-concentrate TMR with 24mg of Rumensin Premix/kg of dry matter is a viable strategy for reducing CH4 production in lactating Holstein dairy cows.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/2269
Date: 2007-04
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Citation: Odongo et al. (2007) J. Dairy Sci. 90(4):1781-1788


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