Methane Emission, Nutrient Digestibility, Energy Metabolism and Blood Metabolites in Dairy Cows Fed Silages with and without Galacto-oligosaccharides Supplementation

  • Santoso, B. (Department of Animal Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine) ;
  • Kume, S. (Department of Animal Production, Hokkaido National Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
  • Nonaka, K. (Department of Animal Production, Hokkaido National Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
  • Kimura, K. (Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research) ;
  • Mizukoshi, H. (Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research) ;
  • Gamo, Y. (Department of Animal Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine) ;
  • Takahashi, J. (Department of Animal Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine)
  • Received : 2002.08.20
  • Accepted : 2002.12.20
  • Published : 2003.04.01


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of supplementation of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) on methane emission, nutrient digestibility, energy utilization and blood metabolites by Holstein cows fed silages. In two sequential digestion and respiratory trials, two non-lactating Holstein cows were arranged to a balanced incomplete block design. Experimental diets consisted of two silage types; orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) based silage (OS), mixed silage (orchardgrass based silage and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) silage) (MS), while two GOS levels were without supplementation (0) and 2% of dry matter intake supplementation (2). Four combination diets were OS-0, OS-2, MS-0 and MS-2. Significant effects of silage types and GOS supplementation levels were not observed for DM and OM intake. Whereas the digestibility of OM, NDF and ADF was significantly (p<0.05) higher in cows fed OS with and without GOS compared cows fed MS diets. As percentage of GE intake, fecal energy loss for OS diets was significantly (p<0.05) declined than for MS diets. In contrast, cows fed MS diets had lower (p<0.05) urine energy loss as a proportion of GE intake compared to OS diets. Energy loss as CH4 and heat production was numerically increased when cows fed both OS and MS with GOS supplementation. Compared to OS, CH4 emission in cows fed MS was numerically decreased by 10.8 %. Methane conversion ratio (energy loss as CH4 per unit of GE intake) for OS-0, OS-2, MS-0 and MS-2 were 7.1, 7.2, 6.8 and 7.0, respectively. Plasma of glucose and urea-N concentration were significantly (p<0.05) elevated from 1 h to 6 h after feeding, otherwise total protein in plasma was declined (p<0.01) at 6 after feeding.


Galacto-oligosaccharides;Nutrient Digestibility;Energy Utilization;Dairy Cows


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