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Feeding condensed tannins to mitigate ammonia emissions from beef feedlot cattle fed high-protein finishing diets containing distillers grains

Koenig, K.M., Beauchemin, K.A., McGinn, S.M. (2018). Feeding condensed tannins to mitigate ammonia emissions from beef feedlot cattle fed high-protein finishing diets containing distillers grains, 96(10), 4414-4430. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky274

Abstract

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of feeding a condensed tannin extract (CT) on dry matter intake (DMI), growth performance, carcass traits, and NH3-N emissions of beef feedlot cattle fed high-protein barley-based finishing diets. In Exp. 1, 36 crossbred steers (346 ± 4.2 kg) were individually fed 4 diets with 20% corn dried distillers grains (DG) and increasing concentrations of a CT extract from Acacia mearnsii (black wattle) at 0%, 1.2%, 2.4%, and 3.5% of DM (9 steers per diet) for 52 d. The DMI was not affected at 1.2% and 2.4% but tended (P = 0.08, quadratic effect) to decrease at 3.5% CT extract. There was no effect (P ≥ 0.12) of increasing CT extract on ADG, but G:F tended (P = 0.09) to decrease linearly. In Exp. 2, 148 crossbred steers (457 ± 3.8 kg) were allocated to 16 pens with 4 pens per treatment in a completely randomized design and fed for 83 d. The 4 dietary treatments included 0% corn DG (0DG), 20% DG (20DG), 40% DG (40DG), and 40% DG with 2.5% CT extract (40DGCT) and contained 13.3, 15.9, 20.4, and 19.4% CP, respectively. All cattle were weighed, and blood was collected from 5 steers per pen every 3 wk. Ammonia emissions were measured in four 3-wk periods using the integrated horizontal flux technique with passive NH3 samplers from 2 pens of cattle fed 0DG and 20DG (Period 1), 40DG and 40DGCT (Period 2), 0DG and 40DG (Period 3), and 0DG and 40DGCT (Period 4). There was no effect (P ≥ 0.15) of diet on final body weight (621 ± 7.1 kg), DMI (11.9 ± 0.25 kg/d), ADG (1.98 ± 0.07 kg/d), G:F (166 ± 5.4 g/kg), and carcass traits. Plasma urea N (PUN) increased (P < 0.001) from 0DG to 40DG (113 to 170 ± 6.0 mg N/L) and was reduced (P < 0.001) by 40DGCT (146 mg N/L) compared with 40DG and tended (P = 0.09) to be reduced compared with steers fed 20DG (153 mg N/L). Ammonia-N emissions were greater from cattle fed 40DG [113.7 vs. 70.8 ± 4.57 g N/(steer·d), P = 0.003] and tended to be greater from cattle fed 20DG [51.3 vs. 26.3 ± 11.2 g N/(steer·d), P = 0.11] compared with 0DG. Cattle fed 40DGCT tended to have lower NH3-N emissions compared with cattle fed 40DG [72.7 vs. 95.1 ± 9.3 g N/(steer·d), P = 0.09 and 20.5 vs. 26.5 ± 2.64% N intake, P = 0.11]. Feeding 2.5% CT to beef feedlot cattle fed a high-protein diet had no detrimental effect on performance, reduced PUN indicating lower urinary urea N excretion, and lowered NH3-N emissions by 23%.

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