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Effects of monensin feeding on performance, nutrient utilisation and enteric methane production in growing buffalo heifers

Gupta, Shiva, Mohini, Madhu, Malla, Bilal A., Mondal, Goutam, Pandita, Sujata
Tropical animal health and production 2019 v.51 no.4 pp. 859-866
blood glucose, body weight changes, buffaloes, crude protein, digestibility, digestible protein, excretion, feces, feed conversion, feedlots, heifers, methane, methane production, monensin, nitrogen, nitrogen retention, nutrient intake, nutrients, organic matter, sulfur hexafluoride, total mixed rations, tracer techniques, urea nitrogen, urine, Brazil
Murrah buffalo heifers (live weight 135 ± 17 kg) were fed a total mixed ration without supplementation (CON), or supplemented with sodium monensin (MON; Rumensin® 200, Elanco Animal Health, Brazil) @ 0.6 mg/kg of body weight for 90 days. Nutrient digestibility and nitrogen retention were estimated during the mid-experiment, and enteric methane production was measured by sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique for consecutive-5 days after the digestion trial. The dry matter (DM) and nutrient intake were not affected but DM intake expressed as percent of body weight was decreased by monensin supplementation (3 vs 2.7% for CON and MON, respectively). The crude protein digestibility was higher for MON whereas, digestibility of other nutrients was not affected. Nitrogen retention (+ 4.59 g/day) and daily body weight gain (+ 56 g/day) were greater for MON-fed heifers without any significant effect on nitrogen intake and nitrogen excretion through faeces and urine. Daily enteric methane production was reduced by 12.61% but the treatments did not differ significantly. Methane emission expressed as gram per unit of DM, organic matter and digestible DM intake was lower for MON than CON and methane conversion rate (Ym) % of GE and ME intake was also decreased by 8–9%. On day 60, blood glucose level was increased and urea nitrogen was decreased in MON-fed heifers. This study indicated that monensin supplementation at 0.6 mg/kg body weight in growing heifers improved daily gain and feed efficiency while it reduced enteric methane production which can reduce feedlot time and consequent life time CH₄ production.