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Methane emissions of geese (Anser anser) and turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) fed pelleted lucerne


Clauss, Marcus; Frei, Samuel; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Kreuzer, Michael (2020). Methane emissions of geese (Anser anser) and turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) fed pelleted lucerne. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 242:110651.

Abstract

In contrast to mammalian herbivores, birds are generally perceived to produce little methane (CH4) during digestion, and accounting for poultry in greenhouse gas inventories is considered unnecessary. We measured CH4 emissions in six domestic geese (Anser anser, 5.0 ± 0.9 kg) and six domestic turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo, 6.3 ± 0.6 kg) kept on a diet of lucerne pellets only, using open-circuit chamber respirometry. Measurements of oxygen consumption were similar to previously published values in these species. Absolute CH4 emissions per day were lower in geese (0.58 ± 0.10 L) than in turkeys (1.48 ± 0.16 L) and represented 0.4 ± 0.2 and 0.6 ± 0.1% of gross energy intake, respectively. These results confirm previous findings on the presence of methanogenes in the digestive tract of poultry species, and in vitro measurements performed on poultry caecal contents. In relation to mammalian herbivores in terms of absolute CH4 emissions, CH4 yield per dry matter or gross energy intake, or the CH4:CO2 ratio, the lucerne-fed geese and turkeys had comparatively low values. The emission of CH4 in spite of the very short digesta retention times and low fibre digestibility, as measured in the same animals, gives rise to the hypothesis that that in some birds, caecal fermentation and the associated CH4 production may be related to the microbial digestion of uric acid. The hypothesis that CH4 emissions in poultry may depend not only on dietary fibre but also on dietary digestible protein (that is excreted as uric acid in urine and retrogradely transported from the cloaca into the caeca) remains to be tested.

Abstract

In contrast to mammalian herbivores, birds are generally perceived to produce little methane (CH4) during digestion, and accounting for poultry in greenhouse gas inventories is considered unnecessary. We measured CH4 emissions in six domestic geese (Anser anser, 5.0 ± 0.9 kg) and six domestic turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo, 6.3 ± 0.6 kg) kept on a diet of lucerne pellets only, using open-circuit chamber respirometry. Measurements of oxygen consumption were similar to previously published values in these species. Absolute CH4 emissions per day were lower in geese (0.58 ± 0.10 L) than in turkeys (1.48 ± 0.16 L) and represented 0.4 ± 0.2 and 0.6 ± 0.1% of gross energy intake, respectively. These results confirm previous findings on the presence of methanogenes in the digestive tract of poultry species, and in vitro measurements performed on poultry caecal contents. In relation to mammalian herbivores in terms of absolute CH4 emissions, CH4 yield per dry matter or gross energy intake, or the CH4:CO2 ratio, the lucerne-fed geese and turkeys had comparatively low values. The emission of CH4 in spite of the very short digesta retention times and low fibre digestibility, as measured in the same animals, gives rise to the hypothesis that that in some birds, caecal fermentation and the associated CH4 production may be related to the microbial digestion of uric acid. The hypothesis that CH4 emissions in poultry may depend not only on dietary fibre but also on dietary digestible protein (that is excreted as uric acid in urine and retrogradely transported from the cloaca into the caeca) remains to be tested.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biochemistry, Physiology, Molecular Biology, Avian herbivore; Caeca; Digestion; Poultry; Uric acid
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:21 Jan 2020 15:29
Last Modified:21 Jan 2020 15:30
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-6433
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2020.110651
PubMed ID:31923627
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNF
  • : Grant ID310030_135252/1
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderBasler Stiftung für Biologische Forschung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title

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