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Sheep Methane Emission on Semiarid Native Pasture—Potential Impacts of Either Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol as Mitigation Strategies

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Department of Animal Science, Vale do Acaraú State University, Sobral 62.040-370, Brazil
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Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Minas, Belo Horizonte 30.123-970, Brazil
3
Regional Scientific Development Scholarship of National Scientific and Technological Development Council (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico—CNPq)—Level C (DCR-FUNCAP/CNPq), Brasilia 38706-400, Brazil
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Embrapa Goats and Sheep, Estrada Sobral-Groaíras, Km 04, Caixa Postal 145, Sobral 62010-970, Brazil
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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030395
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 25 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
Feed availability for small ruminant production in the Brazilian semi-arid region is characterized by the seasonality of forage production over the year. Large variations of methane (CH4) production have been reported among forage types and are mainly explained by the rate of fermentation of plant cell contents and the presence of various plant secondary compounds, notably in heterogeneous pasture. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Zinc sulfate and propylene glycol (PG) on CH4 emission, nutrient intake, digestibility, and production in sheep grazing on a native Caatinga (Brazilian semi-arid savannah) pasture during the rainy season (from March to June 2014). Fifteen mixed Santa Inês sheep were distributed into three treatments (control, Zn, and propylene glycol supplement) in this 112-day study. CH4 emission was measured using the SF6 tracer gas technique. Across the months of the trial, organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intakes were greater in March, while the greatest emission of CH4 (g/day) was observed in May. Total CH4 emission (kg) from March to June (112 days of evaluation) was greater in PG. In conclusion, our results indicate that Zn and PG have no beneficial effects in mitigating sheep CH4 emission when grazing Caatinga-native pasture in the rainy season.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Zinc sulfate and propylene glycol (PG) on methane (CH4) emission, nutrient intake, digestibility, and production in sheep grazing on a native Caatinga (Brazilian semi-arid savannah) pasture during the rainy season (from March to June 2014). Fifteen mixed Santa Inês sheep, all non-castrated males, with initial body weight of 19.8 ± 1.64 kg, and 4 ± 0.35 months of age, were distributed in a complete randomized design into three treatments: control (CT)—concentrate supplemented at 0.7% of body weight; CT + 300 mg of Zn/day; and CT + 2.5 mL of propylene glycol/kg LW0.75/day. Measurements were done in four periods during the rainy season, with 28 days of interval between each measurement. CH4 emission was measured using the SF6 tracer gas technique. CH4 emission per day was greater in PG than in CT and Zn (p < 0.05). However, no additive effect was observed on the intakes of organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF), or on CH4 emission expressed as a function of OM and NDF intakes (p > 0.05). Across the months of the trial, OM and NDF intakes were greater in March, while the greatest emission of CH4 (g/day and g by g/OM intake) was observed in May (p < 0.05). Total CH4 emission (kg) from March to June (112 days of evaluation) was greater in PG compared with CT and Zn (p < 0.05). Zinc and PG had no effect on total CH4 emission when it was expressed per unit of body weight gain or carcass production (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate that Zinc sulfate and propylene glycol have no beneficial effects in mitigating sheep CH4 emission. The CH4 emissions originated from sheep grazing native Caatinga pasture change throughout the rainy season due to fluctuations in availability and quality of pasture biomass. Moreover, the inclusion of zinc sulfate or propylene glycol did not improve animal feed intake, nutrient digestibility, and animal performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Caatinga; CH4; rainy season; SF6 Caatinga; CH4; rainy season; SF6
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MDPI and ACS Style

Costa, H.; Saliba, E.; Bomfim, M.; Lana, Â.M.; Borges, A.L.; Landim, A.; Mota, C.; Tonucci, R.; Faciola, A.P. Sheep Methane Emission on Semiarid Native Pasture—Potential Impacts of Either Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol as Mitigation Strategies. Animals 2020, 10, 395.

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