Pithecellobium dulce, Tagetes erecta and Cosmos bipinnatus on reducing enteric methane emission by dairy cows
ABSTRACT: The aim of the present research was to evaluate the effect of Pithecellobium dulce, Tagetes erecta and Cosmos bipinnatus on methane emission, milk yield and dry matter intake in dairy cattle. A 4×4 Latin square experimental design was employed, using four multiparous Holstein cows of 553±72.4kg body weight, at mid lactation and average milk yield of 17.3±3kg/day. The experiment lasted 92 days, divided into four experimental periods of 23 days each. All cows had free access to maize and alfalfa silage in a 50:50 proportion, 4kg of concentrate/day and ad libitum access to water. Treatments consisted in supplementation of 0.5kg/day of the experimental plants, with one control treatment without supplementation. Each cow received one of each treatment in turn during one of the four periods. The C. bipinnatus reduced methane production by 16% (P<0,05) in comparison with the control diet. Milk production, milk composition and dry matter intake were not affected (p>0 0.05) by the use of C. bipinnatus or any other plant species. Supplementation at low doses of C. bipinnatus showed a reduction in ruminal methane production in dairy cows.