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Effect of crude protein intake on CH4 concentration in a dairy stall

Effect of crude protein intake on CH4 concentration in a dairy stall


Arriaga H.1, Blanco F.1, Salcedo G.2, Martínez-Suller L.3 and Merino P.1

1 NEIKER-Tecnalia. Berreaga, 1 48160 Derio (the Basque Country, Spain)

2 I.E.S. La Granja, 39792 Heras (Cantabria, Spain)

3 University of Cantabria, 39316 Tanos-Torrelavega (Cantabria, Spain)

Grassland in a Changing World 5. EGF 2010. Kiel, Germany.


Grasslands have historically constituted the main source of forages for dairy cattle in the Basque Country. However, the intensification of dairy production has minimized the use of grass-based feedstuffs on commercial farms. Rations are currently formulated on crude protein (CP) content basis, with a high use of concentrates. The use of concentrates is related to increasing ammonia (NH3) accumulation in stalls, but little is known on how CP content may affect methane (CH4) concentration. The aim of this study was to relate the protein nutrition of lactating dairy cows and the CH4 concentration in dairy stalls. Three total-mixedration diets were formulated whose CP contents were 14.1%, 15.9% and 16.9% for low (LP), medium (MP) and high protein (HP) treatments, respectively. Three Holstein cows were confined to metabolic tie-stalls for individual control and CH4 monitoring. Methane measurements were made either in situ in the stall or in the laboratory through slurry incubations at different temperatures. CH4 concentration in the stall was measured using a photoacoustic gas analyser. Results showed no effect of dietary CP content on the CH4 concentration in tie stalls whereas CH4 concentration increased with increasing temperatures in the laboratory. Dietary protein manipulation was not a successful strategy to alter CH4 accumulation in stalls in our conditions.