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Differential effects of oilseed supplements on methane production and milk fatty acid concentrations in dairy cows

  • K. E. Kliem (a1), D. J. Humphries (a1), P. Kirton (a1), D. I. Givens (a2) and C. K. Reynolds (a1)...

Abstract

It is known that supplementing dairy cow diets with full-fat oilseeds can be used as a strategy to mitigate methane emissions, through their action on rumen fermentation. However, direct comparisons of the effect of different oil sources are very few, as are studies implementing supplementation levels that reflect what is commonly fed on commercial farms. The objective was to investigate the effect of feeding different forms of supplemental plant oils on both methane emissions and milk fatty acid (FA) profile. Four multiparous, Holstein-Friesian cows in mid-lactation were randomly allocated to one of four treatment diets in a 4×4 Latin square design with 28-day periods. Diets were fed as a total mixed ration with a 50 : 50 forage : concentrate ratio (dry matter (DM) basis) with the forage consisting of 75 : 25 maize silage : grass silage (DM). Dietary treatments were a control diet containing no supplemental fat, and three treatment diets containing extruded linseed (EL), calcium salts of palm and linseed oil (CPLO) or milled rapeseed (MR) formulated to provide each cow with an estimated 500 g additional oil/day (22 g oil/kg diet DM). Dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield, milk composition and methane production were measured at the end of each experimental period when cows were housed in respiration chambers for 4 days. There was no effect of treatment diet on DMI or milk protein or lactose concentration, but oilseed-based supplements increased milk yield compared with the control diet and milk fat concentration relative to control was reduced by 4 g/kg by supplemental EL. Feeding CPLO reduced methane production, and both linseed-based supplements decreased methane yield (by 1.8 l/kg DMI) and intensity (by 2.7 l/kg milk yield) compared with the control diet, but feeding MR had no effect on methane emission. All the fat supplements decreased milk total saturated fatty acid (SFA) concentration compared with the control, and SFA were replaced with mainly cis-9 18:1 but also trans FA (and in the case of EL and CPLO there were increases in polyunsaturated FA concentration). Supplementing dairy cow diets with these oilseed-based preparations affected milk FA profile and increased milk yield. However, only the linseed-based supplements reduced methane production, yield or intensity, whereas feeding MR had no effect.

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Keywords

Differential effects of oilseed supplements on methane production and milk fatty acid concentrations in dairy cows

  • K. E. Kliem (a1), D. J. Humphries (a1), P. Kirton (a1), D. I. Givens (a2) and C. K. Reynolds (a1)...

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