Two randomized block designs were performed to evaluate the effects of bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) and encapsulated calcium-ammonium nitrate (eCAN) on enteric methane production, nutrient digestibility, liver mineral concentration, and performance of beef cattle consuming bahiagrass hay (Paspalum notatum; ad libitum) and sugar cane molasses [1.07 kg/d; dry matter basis]. Experiment 1, used 25 crossbred steers [335 Â± 46 kg of initial body weight (BW)] with a 2 Ã— 2 + 1 factorial arrangement of treatments for two 20 d periods. Factors were nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) source (350 mg/kg BW of nitrate or 182 mg/kg BW of urea), BSS (0 or 58.4 mg/kg BW), and a negative control (NCTRL; bahiagrass hay and molasses only). Steers were re-randomized for a second period (n = 10/treatment total). Intake, apparent total tract digestibility and enteric methane were evaluated. Experiment 2 used 75 crossbred heifers in 25 pens (3 heifers/pen; 279 Â± 57 kg of initial BW), consuming the same diet and treatments as experiment 1, to determine liver mineral concentration and growth performance over 56 d. Orthogonal contrasts were used to evaluate the effects of NPN (NCTRL vs. others), source of NPN (NS; urea vs. eCAN), BSS, and NS Ã— BSS. For experiment 1, no interactions were observed for any variables, nor were there any effects of NPN on total tract digestibility of nutrients, except for crude protein. Digestibility of all nutrients was reduced (P â‰¤ 0.021) for steers consuming eCAN compared with urea. There was no effect (P > 0.155) of BSS on digestibility of nutrients; however, BSS reduced (P = 0.003) apparent S retention. Enteric CH4 emission (g/kg BW0.75) was decreased (P = 0.051) by 11% with the addition of eCAN compared with urea. For experiment 2, no NS Ã— BSS interactions (P â‰¥ 0.251) were observed to affect liver mineral concentration; however, the addition of BSS decreased liver concentration of Cu (P = 0.002) while increasing Fe concentration (P = 0.016). There was an NS Ã— BSS interaction (P = 0.048) where heifers consuming eCAN and BSS had lesser final BW compared with heifers consuming urea and BSS. While eCAN may be a viable resource for mitigating enteric CH4 production of forage-fed cattle, the negative effects on digestibility should be considered. Furthermore, BSS, at the amount provided, appears to have no negative effects on digestibility of nutrients in forage-fed cattle; however, there may be deleterious impacts on performance depending upon what nitrogen source is supplied.
- Beef cattle
- Bismuth subsalicylate
- Calcium-ammonium nitrate
- Sulfur hexafluoride tracer technique