Livestock production has widely contributed to increase global production of greenhouse gases (GHG), mostly through digestive fermentation in ruminants. Moreover, emissions derived from livestock are estimated over 14% of the total anthropogenic GHG emissions to atmosphere. In addition, methane emitted from ruminal enteric fermentation is responsible for 25% of the total global methane emissions, which turns livestock activity into a main promoter of the climate change effect. However, these emissions may be diminished by modifying livestock diets through alterations in forage-concentrate ratios, the supplementation of feed additives, and the inclusion of alternative feedstuffs not commonly used as forage and protein sources in farm animal feeding. Additionally, the use of nonconventional feedstuffs is highly recommended since their production does not compete with human feeding and may provide metabolites used as methanogenesis suppressors. Likewise, agricultural by-products should be considered as potential feedstuffs for animal production by increasing the livestock efficiency and reducing the energy losses due to methane synthesis.
Part of the book: Livestock Health and Farming