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      Effects of dietary forage-to-concentrate ratio on nutrient digestibility and enteric methane production in growing goats ( Capra hircus hircus) and Sika deer ( Cervus nippon hortulorum)

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          Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of forage-to-concentrate (F:C) ratio on the nutrient digestibility and enteric methane (CH 4) emission in growing goats and Sika deer.


          Three male growing goats (body weight [BW] = 19.0±0.7 kg) and three male growing deer (BW = 19.3±1.2 kg) were respectively allotted to a 3×3 Latin square design with an adaptation period of 7 d and a data collection period of 3 d. Respiration-metabolism chambers were used for measuring the enteric CH 4 emission. Treatments of low (25:75), moderate (50:50), and high (73:27) F:C ratios were given to both goats and Sika deer.


          Dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) digestibility decreased linearly with increasing F:C ratio in both goats and Sika deer. In both goats and Sika deer, the CH 4 emissions expressed as g/d, g/kg BW 0.75, % of gross energy intake, g/kg DM intake (DMI), and g/kg OM intake (OMI) decreased linearly as the F:C ratio increased, however, the CH 4 emissions expressed as g/kg digested DMI and OMI were not affected by the F:C ratio. Eight equations were derived for predicting the enteric CH 4 emission from goats and Sika deer. For goat, equation 1 was found to be of the highest accuracy: CH 4 (g/d) = 3.36+4.71×DMI (kg/d)−0.0036×neutral detergent fiber concentrate (NDFC, g/kg)+0.01563×dry matter digestibility (DMD, g/kg)−0.0108×neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD, g/kg). For Sika deer, equation 5 was found to be of the highest accuracy: CH 4 (g/d) = 66.3+27.7×DMI (kg/d)−5.91×NDFC (g/kg)−7.11× DMD (g/kg)+0.0809×NDFD (g/kg).


          Digested nutrient intake could be considered when determining the CH 4 generation factor in goats and Sika deer. Finally, the enteric CH 4 prediction model for goats and Sika deer were estimated.

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          Methane emissions from cattle.

          Increasing atmospheric concentrations of methane have led scientists to examine its sources of origin. Ruminant livestock can produce 250 to 500 L of methane per day. This level of production results in estimates of the contribution by cattle to global warming that may occur in the next 50 to 100 yr to be a little less than 2%. Many factors influence methane emissions from cattle and include the following: level of feed intake, type of carbohydrate in the diet, feed processing, addition of lipids or ionophores to the diet, and alterations in the ruminal microflora. Manipulation of these factors can reduce methane emissions from cattle. Many techniques exist to quantify methane emissions from individual or groups of animals. Enclosure techniques are precise but require trained animals and may limit animal movement. Isotopic and nonisotopic tracer techniques may also be used effectively. Prediction equations based on fermentation balance or feed characteristics have been used to estimate methane production. These equations are useful, but the assumptions and conditions that must be met for each equation limit their ability to accurately predict methane production. Methane production from groups of animals can be measured by mass balance, micrometeorological, or tracer methods. These techniques can measure methane emissions from animals in either indoor or outdoor enclosures. Use of these techniques and knowledge of the factors that impact methane production can result in the development of mitigation strategies to reduce methane losses by cattle. Implementation of these strategies should result in enhanced animal productivity and decreased contributions by cattle to the atmospheric methane budget.
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            Assessment of the microbial ecology of ruminal methanogens in cattle with different feed efficiencies.

            Cattle with high feed efficiencies (designated "efficient") produce less methane gas than those with low feed efficiencies (designated "inefficient"); however, the role of the methane producers in such difference is unknown. This study investigated whether the structures and populations of methanogens in the rumen were associated with differences in cattle feed efficiencies by using culture-independent methods. Two 16S rRNA libraries were constructed using approximately 800-bp amplicons generated from pooled total DNA isolated from efficient (n = 29) and inefficient (n = 29) animals. Sequence analysis of up to 490 randomly selected clones from each library showed that the methanogenic composition was variable: less species variation (22 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]) was detected in the rumens of efficient animals, compared to 27 OTUs in inefficient animals. The methanogenic communities in inefficient animals were more diverse than those in efficient ones, as revealed by the diversity indices of 0.84 and 0.42, respectively. Differences at the strain and genotype levels were also observed and found to be associated with feed efficiency in the host. No difference was detected in the total population of methanogens, but the prevalences of Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 were 1.92 (P < 0.05) and 2.26 (P < 0.05) times higher in inefficient animals, while Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 was reported for the first time to occur in the bovine rumen. Our data indicate that the methanogenic ecology at the species, strain, and/or genotype level in the rumen may play important roles in contributing to the difference in methane gas production between cattle with different feed efficiencies.
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              Methane Production in Dairy Cows Correlates with Rumen Methanogenic and Bacterial Community Structure

              Methane (CH4) is produced as an end product from feed fermentation in the rumen. Yield of CH4 varies between individuals despite identical feeding conditions. To get a better understanding of factors behind the individual variation, 73 dairy cows given the same feed but differing in CH4 emissions were investigated with focus on fiber digestion, fermentation end products and bacterial and archaeal composition. In total 21 cows (12 Holstein, 9 Swedish Red) identified as persistent low, medium or high CH4 emitters over a 3 month period were furthermore chosen for analysis of microbial community structure in rumen fluid. This was assessed by sequencing the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene and by quantitative qPCR of targeted Methanobrevibacter groups. The results showed a positive correlation between low CH4 emitters and higher abundance of Methanobrevibacter ruminantium clade. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) on operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level of bacteria showed two distinct clusters (P < 0.01) that were related to CH4 production. One cluster was associated with low CH4 production (referred to as cluster L) whereas the other cluster was associated with high CH4 production (cluster H) and the medium emitters occurred in both clusters. The differences between clusters were primarily linked to differential abundances of certain OTUs belonging to Prevotella. Moreover, several OTUs belonging to the family Succinivibrionaceae were dominant in samples belonging to cluster L. Fermentation pattern of volatile fatty acids showed that proportion of propionate was higher in cluster L, while proportion of butyrate was higher in cluster H. No difference was found in milk production or organic matter digestibility between cows. Cows in cluster L had lower CH4/kg energy corrected milk (ECM) compared to cows in cluster H, 8.3 compared to 9.7 g CH4/kg ECM, showing that low CH4 cows utilized the feed more efficient for milk production which might indicate a more efficient microbial population or host genetic differences that is reflected in bacterial and archaeal (or methanogens) populations.

                Author and article information

                Asian-Australas J Anim Sci
                Asian-australas. J. Anim. Sci
                Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
                Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies (AAAP) and Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology (KSAST)
                July 2017
                21 March 2017
                : 30
                : 7
                : 967-972
                [1 ]Department of Animal Science and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: Sang Rak Lee, Tel: +82-2-450-3696, Fax: +82-2-455-1044, E-mail: leesr@ 123456konkuk.ac.kr
                Copyright © 2017 by Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization


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