Journal article

Low-methane yield sheep have smaller rumens and shorter rumen retention time

John P Goopy, Alastair Donaldson, Roger Hegarty, Philip E Vercoe, Fay Haynes, Mark Barnett, V Hutton Oddy

BRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2014

Abstract

In the present study, following the measurement of methane emissions from 160 mature ewes three times, a subset of twenty ewes was selected for further emission and physiological studies. Ewes were selected on the basis of methane yield (MY; g CH4/kg DM intake) being low (Low MY: >1 sd below the mean; n 10) or high (High MY: >1 sd above the mean; n 10) when fed a blended chaff ration at a fixed feeding level (1·2-fold maintenance energy requirements). The difference between the Low- and High-MY groups observed at the time of selection was maintained (P= 0·001) when remeasured 1-7 months later during digesta kinetics studies. Low MY was associated with a shorter mean retention time of particu..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The present study was funded by Meat and Livestock Australia, The Co-operative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Australian government's Climate Change Research Program. Meat and Livestock Australia, The Co-operative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Australian government's Climate Change Research Program had no role in the design and analysis of the study or in the writing of this article.