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21 July 2020 Methane and carbon dioxide emissions and grazed forage intake from pregnant beef heifers previously classified for residual feed intake under drylot conditions
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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to quantify the effect of post-weaning residual feed intake (RFI) on subsequent grazed forage intake, methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Beef heifers classified for RFI adjusted for off-test backfat (RFIfat; 55 high and 56 low) at 9 mo of age were monitored 7 mo later for CH4 and CO2 emissions using the GreenFeed Emissions Monitoring system. About 56 of these heifers were also monitored as high and low RFIfat groups using open-path Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (OP-FTIR). Heifers were dosed with 1 kg of C32-labelled pellets once daily for 15 d, with twice daily fecal sampling the last 8 d to determine individual grazed forage intake using the n-alkane method. Low RFIfat pregnant heifers consumed less forage (10.25 vs. 10.81 kg dry matter d−1; P < 0.001), and emitted less daily CH4 (238.7 vs. 250.7 g d−1; P = 0.009) and CO2 (7578 vs. 8041 g d−1; P < 0.001) compared with high RFIfat animals. Results from the OP-FTIR further confirmed that low RFIfat heifers emitted 6.3% less (g d−1; P = 0.006) CH4 compared with their high RFIfat cohorts. Thus, selection for low RFIfat will decrease daily CH4 and CO2 emissions from beef cattle.

Copyright remains with authors G. Manafiazar, T.K. Flesch, B. Byron, G. Plastow, and K. Ominski or their institutions, and © Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada 2021. Permission for reuse (free in most cases) can be obtained from copyright.com.
G. Manafiazar, T.K. Flesch, V.S. Baron, L. McKeown, B. Byron, H. Block, K. Ominski, G. Plastow, and J.A. Basarab "Methane and carbon dioxide emissions and grazed forage intake from pregnant beef heifers previously classified for residual feed intake under drylot conditions," Canadian Journal of Animal Science 101(1), 71-84, (21 July 2020). https://doi.org/10.1139/cjas-2019-0182
Received: 13 October 2019; Accepted: 26 May 2020; Published: 21 July 2020
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