Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/18814
Title: Measures of methane production and their phenotypic relationships with dry matter intake, growth, and body composition traits in beef cattle
Contributor(s): Herd, Robert M (author)orcid ; Arthur, P F (author); Donoghue, K (author); Bird, S H (author); Bird-Gardiner, Tracie L (author); Hegarty, Roger (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.2527/jas.2014-8273
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/18814
Abstract: Ruminants contribute up to 80% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock, and enteric methane production by ruminants is the main source of these GHG emissions. Hence, reducing enteric methane production is essential in any GHG emissions reduction strategy in livestock. Data from 2 performance-recording research herds of Angus cattle were used to evaluate a number of methane measures that target methane production (MPR) independent of feed intake and to examine their phenotypic relationships with growth and body composition. The data comprised 777 young bulls and heifers that were fed a roughage diet (ME of 9 MJ/kg DM) at 1.2 times their maintenance energy requirements and measured for MP in open circuit respiration chambers for 48 h. Methane traits evaluated included DMI during the methane measurement period, MPR, and methane yield (MY; MPR/DMI), with means (±SD) of 6.2 ± 1.4 kg/d, 187 ± 38 L/d, and 30.4 ± 3.5 L/kg, respectively. Four forms of residual MPR (RMP), which is a measure of actual minus predicted MPR, were evaluated. For the first 3 forms, predicted MPR was calculated using published equations. For the fourth (RMPR), predicted MPR was obtained by regression of MPR on DMI. Growth traits evaluated were BW at birth, weaning (200 d of age), yearling age (400 d of age), and 600 d of age, with means (±SD) of 34 ± 4.6, 238 ± 37, 357 ± 45, and 471 ± 53 kg, respectively. Body composition traits included ultrasound measures (600 d of age) of rib fat, rump fat, and eye muscle area, with means (±SD) of 3.8 ± 2.6 mm, 5.4 ± 3.8 mm, and 61 ± 7.7 cm2, respectively. Methane production was positively correlated (r ± SE) with DMI (0.65 ± 0.02), MY (0.72 ± 0.02), the RMP traits (r from 0.65 to 0.79), the growth traits (r from 0.19 to 0.57), and the body composition traits (r from 0.13 to 0.29). Methane yield was, however, not correlated (r ± SE) with DMI (-0.02 ± 0.04) as well as the growth (r from -0.03 to 0.11) and body composition (r from 0.01 to 0.06) traits. All the RMP traits were strongly correlated to MY (r from 0.82 to 0.95). These results indicate that reducing MPR per se can have a negative impact on growth and body composition of cattle. Reducing MY, however, will likely have the effect of reducing MPR without impacting productivity. Where a ratio trait is undesirable, as in animal breeding, any of the RMP traits can be used instead of MY. However, where independence from DMI is desired, RMPR should be a trait worth considering.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Animal Science, 92(11), p. 5267-5274
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
Place of Publication: Champaign, United States of America
ISSN: 1525-3163
0021-8812
Field of Research (FOR): 070204 Animal Nutrition
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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