Dynamics of methanogenesis, ruminal fermentation, and alfalfa degradation during adaptation to monensin supplementation in goats

Z. J. Li, H. Ren, S. M. Liu, C. J. Cai, J. T. Han, F. Li, J. H. Yao

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15 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine the temporal (hourly within a day and daily over the long term) effects of monensin on CH4 emissions, ruminal fermentation, and in situ alfalfa degradation in dairy goats during dietary monensin supplementation by controlling the confounding effects of feed intake and ambient temperature. Six ruminally cannulated dairy goats were used, and they were housed in environmental chambers and fed a restricted amount of ration throughout the experiment. The experiment included a baseline period of 20 d followed by a treatment period of 55 d with 32 mg of monensin/d. During the whole experiment, CH4 production was measured every 5 d, whereas fermentation characteristics and in situ alfalfa degradation were analyzed every 10 d. The CH4-depressing effect of monensin was time dependent on the duration of treatment, highly effective at d 5 but thereafter decreased gradually until d 55 even though CH4-suppressing effect still remained significant. The decreasing effects of monensin on ruminal acetate proportion and acetate to propionate ratio also faded over days of treatment, and the acetate proportion returned up to the pre-supplementation level on d 50. Monensin supplementation elevated ruminal propionate proportion and decreased the effective ruminal degradability of alfalfa NDF, but both measurements tended to recover over time. The postprandial increase rate of hourly CH4 emissions was reduced, whereas that of propionate proportion was enhanced by monensin supplementation. However, the postprandial responses to monensin in CH4 emission rates, ruminal VFA profiles, and in situ degradation kinetics declined with both hours after feeding and days of treatment. Our results suggest that the CH4-suppressing effect of monensin supplementation in goats was attributed to reductions in both ruminal feed degradation and acetate to propionate ratio, but those reductions faded with time, hours after feeding, and days of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048–1059
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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