Evaluation of 3 northwest European seaweed species on enteric methane production and lactational performance of Holstein-Friesian dairy cows

W. Muizelaar*, G. van Duinkerken, Z. Khan, J. Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Seaweeds have been studied for their ability to reduce enteric methane emissions of ruminants when fed as a feed supplement. In vivo research with dairy cattle is mainly limited to the seaweed species Ascophyllum nodosum and Asparagopsis taxiformis, whereas in vitro gas production research covers a broader range of brown, red, and green seaweed species from different regions. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of Chondrus crispus (Rhodophyta), Saccharina latissima (Phaeophyta), and Fucus serratus (Phaeophyta), 3 common northwest European seaweeds, on enteric methane production and lactational performance of dairy cattle. Sixty-four Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle (16 primiparous, 48 multiparous) averaging (mean ± standard deviation) 91 ± 22.6 d in milk and 35.4 ± 8.13 kg/d fat- and protein-corrected milk yield (FPCM) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a randomized complete block design. Cows were fed a partial mixed ration [54.2% grass silage, 20.8% corn silage, and 25.0% concentrate; dry matter (DM) basis] with additional concentrate bait in the milking parlor and the GreenFeed system (C-Lock Inc.). The 4 treatments consisted of a control diet without seaweed supplement (CON), or CON supplemented with 150 g/d (fresh weight of dried seaweed) of either C. crispus (CC), S. latissima (SL), or a 50/50 mix (DM basis) of F. serratus and S. latissima. Milk yield (28.7 vs. 27.5 kg/d, respectively), fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM) yield (31.4 vs. 30.2 kg/d, respectively), milk lactose content (4.57 vs. 4.52%, respectively), and lactose yield (1,308 vs. 1,246 g/d, respectively) increased for SL compared with CON. Milk protein content was lower for SL compared with the other treatments. Milk fat and protein contents; yields of fat, protein, lactose, and FPCM; feed efficiency; milk nitrogen efficiency; and somatic cell count did not differ between CON and the other treatments. Depending on week of experiment, milk urea content was higher for SL compared with CON and CC. No effects were observed of the treatments compared with CON for DM intake, number of visits to the GreenFeed, or gas emission (production, yield, or intensity) of CO2, CH4, and H2. In conclusion, the seaweeds evaluated did not decrease enteric CH4 emissions and did not negatively affect feed intake and lactational performance of dairy cattle. Milk yield, FPCM yield, milk lactose content, and lactose yield increased, and milk protein content decreased, with S. latissima.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4622-4633
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • cattle
  • dairy cow
  • methane
  • milk yield
  • performance
  • seaweed


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