Encapsulated nitrate and cashew nut shell liquid on blood and rumen constituents, methane emission, and growth performance of lambs

H. M. El-Zaiat, R. C. Araujo, Y. A. Soltan, A. S. Morsy, H. Louvandini, A. V. Pires, H. O. Patino, P. S. Correa, A. L. Abdalla

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Nitrate can be a source of NPN for microbial growth at the same time that it reduces ruminal methane production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of 2 encapsulated nitrate products used as urea replacers on blood and rumen constituents, methane emission, and growth performance of lambs. Eighteen Santa Inês male lambs (27 ± 4.9 kg) were individually allotted to indoor pens and assigned to a randomized complete block design with 6 blocks and 3 dietary treatments: control (CTL) = 1.5% urea, ENP = 4.51% encapsulated nitrate product (60.83% NO3 - in the product DM), and ENP+CNSL = 4.51% ENP containing cashew nut shell liquid (60.83% NO3 - and 2.96% cashew nut shell liquid [CNSL] in the product DM). Diets were isonitrogenous with 60:40 concentrate:forage (Tifton 85 hay) ratio. The experiment lasted for 92 d and consisted of 28 d for adaptation (a weekly 33% stepwise replacement of CTL concentrate by nitrate-containing concentrates) and 64 d for data collection. The ENP and ENP+CNSL showed greater (P < 0.05) red blood cell counts than CTL. Blood methemoglobin (MetHb) did not differ (P > 0.05) among treatments, with mean values within normal range and remaining below 1.1% of total hemoglobin. There was an increase (P < 0.05) in total short-chain fatty acids concentration at 3 h postfeeding for ENP, with an additional increase (P < 0.05) observed for ENP+CNSL. No treatment effects (P > 0.05) were observed on acetate to propionate ratio. Methane production (L/kg DMI) was reduced (P < 0.05) with nitrate inclusion, recording 28.6, 19.1, and 19.5 L/kg DMI for CTL, ENP, and ENP+CNSL, respectively. Addition of CNSL did not result (P > 0.05) in further reduction of methane production when compared with ENP. Final BW, DMI, ADG, and feed efficiency were similar (P > 0.05) among treatments. Values for DMI were 1.11, 1.03, and 1.04 kg/d and for ADG were 174, 154, and 158 g for CTL, ENP, and ENP+CNSL, respectively. In conclusion, encapsulated nitrate products showed no risks of toxicity based on MetHb formation. The products persistently reduced methane production without affecting performance. Inclusion of cashew nut shell liquid in the product formulation had no additional benefits on methane mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2214-2224
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Cashew nut shell liquid, methane, methemoglobin, nitrate, nitrite, nonprotein nitrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Genetics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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