The addition of fat and calcium sulfate to diets fed to ruminants has resulted in a reduction in methane production, but the effects on energy balance have not been studied. A study using indirect calorimetry and 16 multiparous (8 Holstein and 8 Jersey; 78 ± 15 d in milk; mean ± standard deviation) lactating dairy cows was conducted to determine how mitigating methane production by adding corn oil or calcium sulfate to diets containing reduced-fat distillers grains affects energy and nitrogen balance. A replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with 35-d periods (28 d of adaption and 4 d of collections) was used to compare 4 different dietary treatments. Treatments were composed of a control (CON) diet, which did not contain reduced-fat distillers grain and solubles (DDGS), and treatment diets containing 20% (dry matter basis) DDGS (DG), 20% DDGS with 1.38% (dry matter basis) added corn oil (CO), and 20% DDGS with 0.93% (dry matter basis) added calcium sulfate (CaS). Compared with CON, dry matter intake was not affected by treatment, averaging 29.6 ± 0.67 kg/d. Milk production was increased for diets containing DDGS compared with CON (26.3 vs. 27.8 ± 0.47 kg/d for CON vs. DDGS, respectively), likely supported by increased energy intake. Compared with CON, energy-corrected milk was greater in DG and CO (30.1 vs. 31.4, 31.7, and 31.0 ± 0.67 kg/d for CON, DG, CO, and CaS, respectively). Compared with CON, the addition of calcium sulfate and corn oil to diets containing DDGS reduced methane production per kg of dry matter intake (22.3, 19.9, and 19.6 ± 0.75 L/kg per d for CON, CO, and CaS, respectively). Similarly, methane production per kilogram of energy-corrected milk was reduced with the addition of calcium sulfate and corn oil to diets containing DDGS (14.2, 12.5, and 12.4 ± 0.50 L/kg per d for CON, CO, and CaS, respectively). Compared with CON and CaS, the intake of digestible energy was greater for DG and CO treatments (57.7, 62.1, 62.0, and 59.0 ± 1.38 Mcal/d for CON, DG, CO, and CaS, respectively). Intake of metabolizable energy was greater in all treatments containing DDGS compared with CON (50.5 vs. 54.0 ± 1.08 Mcal/d for CON vs. DDGS, respectively). Net balance (milk plus tissue energy) per unit of dry matter was greater in CO (containing DDGS and oil) than CON (1.55 vs. 1.35 ± 0.06 Mcal/kg for CO vs. CON, respectively). Tissue energy was greater in DG and CO compared with CON (6.08, 7.04, and 3.16 ± 0.99 Mcal/d for DG, CO, and CON, respectively. Results of this study suggest that the addition of oil and calcium sulfate to diets containing DDGS may be a viable option to reduce methane production and in the case of oil also improve net energy balance in lactating dairy cows.
- dairy cow
- dried distillers grains and solubles