Effect of decreasing dietary crude protein in fattening calves on the emission of ammonia and greenhouse gases from manure stored under aerobic and anaerobic conditions
Dietary strategies can potentially help to reduce nitrogen (N) emissions and decrease the environmental impact of beef production. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary crude protein (CP) concentration on animal performance, N excretion, and manure N volatilisation of finishing Holstein animals. In a first study, 105 Holstein bulls (BW 344 ± 2.6 kg; age 252 ± 0.9 days) were allocated to eight pens to evaluate the effect of two treatments (medium (M) and low (L), which contained CP 14.5% and 12% on a DM basis, respectively) on performance, and results confirmed that dietary CP decrease did not impair animal growth. In a second study, N excretion study, 24 Holstein heifers (BW 310 ± 5.3 kg; age 251 ± 1.4 days) were distributed randomly depending on the initial BW to three treatments (high (H), M, and L, which contained CP 17%, 14.5% and 12% on a DM basis, respectively). Based on N excretion, urinary N excretion was greater (P < 0.001) in H than in M and L diets, but no differences in faecal N excretion were observed among treatments. A third study with in vitro assays under aerobic and anaerobic conditions was designed to analyse gaseous emissions (volatilisation of N and carbon, C) during the storage stage of manure. Manure, faecal and urine samples, mixed at a ratio of 1:1 (wet weight), were collected during the N excretion study (manure-H, manure-M, manure-L). Under aerobic conditions, manure-M and manure-L showed a delay of 4–5 days in manure ammonia emission compared with manure-H (P < 0.01). Total N content was lower (P < 0.01) in manure-L compared with manure-M and manure-H, but N volatilisation (percentage relative to initial N) in manure-L and manure-M was greater (P < 0.01) than in manure-H. In contrast, the anaerobic N volatilisation was 20 times greater in manure-M and 10 times greater in manure-H compared with manure-L. Under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, the emission of C, as C-CO2 and C-CH4, was greater in manure-L than in manure-H and manure-M. Therefore, the decrease of dietary CP concentration from 17% to 14.5% and 12% is an efficient strategy to reduce urinary N excretion by 40%, without impairing performance, and also to reduce manure N losses through ammonia volatilisation under anaerobic conditions. However, a dietary CP content of 14.5% resulted in less environmental impact than a CP content of 12.8% when also considering manure emissions under aerobic or anaerobic conditions.
636 - Explotació i cria d'animals. Cria del bestiar i d'animals domèstics
Is part of
Devant, M., A. Pérez, C. Medinyà, J. Riera, J. Grau, B. Fernández, and F.X. Prenafeta-Boldú. 2022. "Effect Of Decreasing Dietary Crude Protein In Fattening Calves On The Emission Of Ammonia And Greenhouse Gases From Manure Stored Under Aerobic And Anaerobic Conditions". Animal 16 (3): 100471. doi:10.1016/j.animal.2022.100471.
Grant agreement number
EC-FEADER/EIP-AGRI/ /EU/Strategies to reduce nitrogen excretion in fattening veal calves during the finishing phase/
Sostenibilitat en Biosistemes
Producció de Remugants
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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