The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of starch varying in rate of fermentation and level of inclusion in the diet in exchange for fiber on methane (CH4) production of dairy cows.
Forty Holstein-Friesian lactating dairy cows of which 16 were rumen cannulated were grouped in 10 blocks of 4 cows each. Cows received diets consisting of 60% grass silage and 40% concentrate (dry matter basis). Cows within block were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 different diets composed of concentrates that varied in rate of starch fermentation, native vs. gelatinized corn grain, and level of starch.
Total N excretion in feces plus urine and N retained were unaffected by dietary treatments, and similarly energy intake and output of energy in milk expressed per unit of metabolic body weight were not affected by treatments. In conclusion, an increased rate of starch fermentation and increased level of starch in the diet of dairy cattle reduced CH4 produced per unit of eRFOM, but did not affect CH4 production per unit of feed dry matter intake or per unit of milk produced.
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