Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Construction and operation of open-circuit methane chambers for small ruminants

L. Klein A and A.-D. G. Wright A B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A CSIRO Livestock Industries, Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia.

B Current address: CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, Qld 4067, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: andre-denis.wright@csiro.au

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46(10) 1257-1262 https://doi.org/10.1071/EA05340
Submitted: 24 November 2005  Accepted: 9 May 2006   Published: 13 September 2006

Abstract

A detailed description of the construction, calibration and operation of 4 open-circuit chambers designed to measure methane emissions from sheep is given. These chambers have accommodated sheep under ad libitum feeding and have been used in short-term experiments and over extended periods of time. A real-time base data acquisition and process control system provided 24 h operation of the methane chambers. The gas volume measurement system consisted of dry test meters and sensors for differential and absolute pressure, temperature and relative humidity. This enabled correction of methane chamber exhaust air volume to standard temperature and pressure. Temperatures and relative humidity during measurements ranged from 21.0 to 23.1°C and 53.8 to 78.9%, respectively. The gas chromatograms were calibrated 3 times a day using commercially available gas standards. Recovery tests were conducted on each chamber by bleeding a methane gas standard into the chamber at a rate similar to methane production by sheep, with 94.4–107.1% of the methane gas recovered. Measurements on 32 sheep gave methane emissions within predicted levels and identified several low methane-producing sheep.

Additional keywords: calorimeter, enteric fermentation, greenhouse gas, ruminants, sheep.


Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr B. Young for scientific and technical advice and members of the CSIRO Livestock Industries’ Gut Microbial Manipulation Team (Dr Suzy Rea, Dr Lucy Skillman, Dr Yvette Williams, Ms Ros Owen, Ms Carolyn Pimm, Mr Sam Popovski, Mr Andrew Toovey and Mr Andrew Williams), especially Dr Yvette Williams for her critical comments on past versions of this manuscript.


References


Anderson RC, Callaway TR, Van Kessel JAS, Jung YS, Edrington TS, Nisbet DJ (2003) Effect of select nitrocompounds on ruminal fermentation; an initial look at their potential to reduce economic and environmental costs associated with ruminal methanogenesis. Bioresource Technology 90, 59–63.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Australian Greenhouse Office (2005) ‘National greenhouse gas inventory 2003.’ (Australian Greenhouse Office: Canberra)

Hegarty RS (1999) Mechanisms for competitively reducing ruminal methanogenesis. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 50, 1299–1305.
CrossRef |

Hegarty RS (2001) ‘Greenhouse gas emissions from the Australian livestock sector: what do we know, what can we do?’ (Australian Greenhouse Office: Canberra)

Hegarty RS (2004) Geneotype differences and their impact on digestive tract function of ruminants: a review. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44, 459–467.
CrossRef |

Howden SM, White DH, McKeon GM, Scanlan JC, Carter JO (1994) Methods for exploring management options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tropical grazing systems Climatic Change 27, 49–70.
CrossRef |

Joblin KN (1996) Options for reducing methane emissions from ruminants in New Zealand and Australia. In ‘Greenhouse: coping with climate change’. (Eds WJ Bouma, GI Pearman, MR Manning) pp. 437–449. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)

Joblin KN (1999) Ruminal acetogens and their potential to lower ruminant methane emissions. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 50, 1307–1313.
CrossRef |

Johnson KA, Johnson DE (1995) Methane emissions from cattle. Journal of Animal Science 73, 2483–2492.
PubMed |


Johnson K, Huyler M, Westberg H, Lamb B, Zimmerman P (1994) Measurement of methane emissions from ruminant livestock using a SF6 tracer technique. Environmental Science and Technology 28, 359–362.
CrossRef |

Klieve AV, Hegarty RS (1999) Opportunities for biological control of ruminal methanogenesis. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 50, 1315–1319.
CrossRef |

McAllister TA, Okine EK, Mathison GW, Cheng KJ (1996) Dietary, environmental, and microbiological aspects of methane production in ruminants. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 76, 231–243.

McCrabb GJ, Berger KT, Magner T, May C, Hunter RA (1997) Inhibiting methane production in Brahman cattle by dietary supplementation with a novel compound and the effects on growth. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 48, 323–329.
CrossRef |

Machmüller A, Kreuzer M (1999) Methane suppression by coconut oil and associated effects on nutrient and energy balance in sheep. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 79, 65–72.

Machmüller A, Soliva CR, Kreuzer M (2003a) Methane-suppressing effect of myristic acid in sheep as affected by dietary calcium and forage proportion. British Journal of Nutrition 90, 529–540.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Machmüller A, Soliva CR, Kreuzer M (2003b) Effect of coconut oil and defaunation treatment on methanogenesis in sheep. Reproduction, Nutrition, Development 43, 41–55.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Mathison GW, Okine EK, McAllister TA, Dong Y, Galbraith J, Dmytruk O (1998) Reducing methane emissions from ruminant animals. Journal of Applied Animal Research 14, 1–28.

Mbanzamihigo L, Van Nevel CJ, Demeyer DI (1996) Lasting effects of monensin on rumen and caecal fermentation in sheep fed a high grain diet. Journal of Animal and Feed Science Technology 62, 215–228.
CrossRef |

Murray RM, Byrant AM, Leng RA (1976) Rates of production of methane in the rumen and large intestine in sheep. British Journal of Nutrition 36, 1–14.
CrossRef | PubMed |

NGGI (National Greenhouse Gas Inventory) (2005) ‘Australian methodology for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks 2003: agriculture.’ (Australian Greenhouse Office: Canberra)

Nienaber JA, Maddy AL (1985) Temperature controlled multiple chamber indirect calorimeter-design and operation. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers 28, 555–560.

Van Nevel CJ, Demeyer DI (1995) Feed additives and other interventions for decreasing methane emissions. Biotechnology in Animal Feeds and Animal Feeding 17, 329–349.

Wright A-DG, Kennedy P, O’Neill C, Toovey AF, Popovski S, Rea SM, Pimm CL, Klein L (2004) Reducing methane emissions in sheep by immunization against rumen methanogens. Vaccine 22, 3976–3985.
CrossRef | PubMed |








Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (7)