Effect of dried oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) plant material in feed on methane production, rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and milk fatty acid composition in dairy cows

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Essential oils (EO) from oregano may have antimicrobial properties, potentially representing a methane mitigation strategy suitable for organic production. This study aimed to (1) examine the potential of oregano in lowering enteric methane production of dairy cows fed differing levels of dried oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum) plant material containing high levels of EO; (2) determine whether differing levels of dried oregano plant material of another subspecies (Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare) with naturally low levels of EO in feed affected enteric methane production; and (3) evaluate the effect of various levels of the 2 oregano subspecies (containing high or low levels of EO) in feed on rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and milk fatty acids. Each experiment had a 4 × 4 Latin square design using 4 lactating Danish Holstein dairy cows that had rumen, duodenal, and ileal cannulas and were fed 4 different levels of oregano. Experiment 1 used low EO oregano [0.12% EO of oregano dry matter (DM)] and evaluated a control (C) diet with no oregano and 3 oregano diets with 18 (low; L), 36 (medium; M), and 53 g of oregano DM/kg of dietary DM (high; H). Experiment 2 used high EO oregano (4.21% EO of oregano DM) with 0, 7, 14, and 21 g of oregano DM/kg of dietary DM for C, L, M, and H, respectively. Oregano was added to the diets by substituting grass/clover silage on a DM basis. Low or high EO oregano in feed did not affect dry matter intake (DMI) or methane production (grams per day, grams per kilogram of DMI, grams per kilogram of energy-corrected milk, and percentage of gross energy intake). Rumen fermentation was slightly affected by diet in experiment 1, but was not affected by diet in experiment 2. In both experiments, the apparent total-tract digestibility of DM, organic matter, and neutral detergent fiber decreased linearly and cubically (a cubic response was not observed for neutral detergent fiber) with increasing dietary oregano content, while milk fatty acids were slightly affected. In conclusion, dried oregano plant material with either high or low levels of EO did not lower the methane production of dairy cows over 4 consecutive days, and no substantial effects were observed on rumen fermentation or nutrient digestibility. This conclusion regarding methane production is in contrast with literature and requires further study.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Dairy Science
Vol/bind102
Nummer11
Sider (fra-til)9902–9918
Antal sider17
ISSN0022-0302
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2019

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