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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted
doi: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.16.0508    [Accepted]
Effect of feeding of blend of essential oils on methane production, growth, nutrient utilization in growing buffaloes
M A Yatoo1,2, L C CHAUDHARY1,*, Neeta Agarwal1, V B Chaturvedi1, D N Kamra1
2Animal Nutrition Scientist, KVK- Budgam SKUAST-Kashmir India
* Corresponding Author: L C CHAUDHARY ,Tel: 00915812301318, Fax: 00915812301318, Email: lcchaudhary1@rediffmail.com
Received: July 1, 2016;  Revised: September 19, 2016.  Accepted: February 15, 2017.  Published online February 23, 2017.

ABSTRACT Objective:
An experiment was conducted to study the effect of a blend of essential oils (BEO) on enteric methane emission and growth performance of buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis).
Twenty one growing male buffaloes (average body weight of 279 ± 9.3 kg) were divided in to three groups. The animals of all the three groups were fed on a ration consisting of wheat straw and concentrate mixture targeting 500g daily live weight gain. The three dietary groups were; Group1: control without additive, Group 2 and 3: supplemented with BEO @ 0.15 and 0.30 ml/kg of dry matter intake (DMI), respectively.
During six months feeding trial, the intake and digestibility of dry matter and nutrients (organic matter, crude protein, ether extract, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre) were similar in all the groups. The average body weight gain was tended to improve (P=0.084) in Group 2 and Group 3 as compared to control animals. Feeding of BEO did not affect feed conversion efficiency of the animals. The calves of all the three groups were in positive nitrogen balance with no difference in nitrogen metabolism. During respiration chamber studies the methane production (l/kg DMI and l/kg DDMI) was significantly (P<0.001) lower in Group 2 and Group 3 as compared to control animals.
The results indicated that the blend of essential oils tested in the present study have shown potential to reduce enteric methane production without compromising the nutrient utilization and animal performance and could be further explored for its use as feed additive to mitigate enteric methane production livestock.
Keywords: Essential oils; Methane; Plant secondary metabolites; Buffalo; Growth
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