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J Dairy Sci. 2011 Dec;94(12):6069-77. doi: 10.3168/jds.2011-4508.

Effects of chestnut tannins and coconut oil on growth performance, methane emission, ruminal fermentation, and microbial populations in sheep.

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1
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jilin 130012, China.

Abstract

This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of chestnut tannins (CT) and coconut oil (CO) on growth performance, methane (CH₄) emission, ruminal fermentation, and microbial populations in sheep. A total of 48 Rideau Arcott sheep (average body weight 31.5±1.97 kg, 16 wk old) were randomly assigned into 6 treatment groups in a 3 × 2 factorial design, with CT and CO as the main effects (8 sheep per group). The treatments were control diet (CTR), 10 or 30 g of CT/kg of diet (CT10 and CT30), 25 g of CO/kg of concentrate (CO25), and 10 or 30 g of CT/kg of diet+25 g of CO/kg of concentrate (CT10CO25 and CT30CO25). After the feeding trial (60 d), all sheep were moved to respiratory chambers to measure CH₄ emission. After CH₄ emission measurements, all sheep were slaughtered to obtain rumen fluid samples. Results showed that the addition of CT, CO, and CT+CO had no significant effects on growth performance of sheep but reduced CH₄ emission. Addition of CT reduced the NH₃-N concentration in rumen fluid in CT30. Addition of CO decreased the concentration of total volatile fatty acids in rumen fluid. No significant differences were observed in pH and molar proportion of volatile fatty acids among treatments. Addition of CT, CO, and CT+CO significantly decreased methanogen and protozoa populations. Moreover, CO decreased counts of Fibrobacter succinogenes. No significant differences were observed in populations of fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, or Ruminococcus albus among treatments. In conclusion, supplementation of CT and CO seemed to be a feasible means of decreasing emissions of CH₄ from sheep by reduction of methanogen and protozoa populations with no negative effect on growth performance.

PMID:
22118094
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2011-4508
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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