Abstract: This study was conducted to compare methane production in legume (two common Iranian alfalfa varieties) and grass (quackgrass; QCK) as forage sources in sheep nutrition by using nutrient composition of the diet. Each of the 2 hays of legume (Hamedani; HAM and Kareyonge; KAR varieties) and grass (QCK) were offered ad libitum to three Gezel rams. No significant difference found between Dry Matter (DM), Crude Protein (CP), Ash and Ether Extract (EE) of 2 alfalfa varieties, although the difference for Crude Fiber (CF) was significant (p<0.01). The Organic Matter (OM), DM, CP, CF, Ash contents of 2 species (legume and grass) were significantly different (p<0.05). Methane production (g per day, g per kg BW and g per kg BW0.75) were similar in HAM and KAR hays (p>0.05), whereas methane production (g per day, g per kg BW and g per kg BW0.75) in grass hay were significantly (p<0.01) higher than that of legume hay. Calculations based on nutrient composition of the diet indicate that grass hay can have a higher methane production than legume resulting to gross energy lost as CH4.
Afshar Mirzaei-Aghsaghali , Naser Maheri-Sis , Ali Mirza-Aghazadeh , Yahya Ebrahimnezhad , Mohammad Reza Dastouri and Abolfazl Aghajanzadeh Golshani , 2008. Estimation of Methane Production in Sheep Using Nutrient Composition of the Diet. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 7: 765-770.