‘Calfeteria’ trial underway at UNE to determine the tastiest methane reducing feed additive
29 August 2022
Australian climate technology company Rumin8 has commenced a livestock trial at the University of New England to determine anti-methane dietary preferences in cattle.
Dubbed the ‘calfeteria trial’, the purpose of the experiment is to determine which ration cattle find more palatable and more likely to eat, and how the formulation they choose impacts reductions in methane generation.
The cattle in the trial will be provided the choice of a total mix ration containing three different treatments of Rumin8’s anti-methanogenic product, as well as a control product.
The trial will help inform efficacy, dosing and palatability decisions as Rumin8 moves from in vitro to in vivo trials.
“If cattle won’t eat a ration because they don’t like a particular dose rate or formulation, then it doesn’t matter how effective the feed additive is at reducing methane generation because it won’t be ingested by the animal and farmers won’t use it because it limits weight gain in their cattle,” said Rumin8 CEO David Messina.
“If cattle do avoid a particular treatment we have the ability to adjust taste or delivery mechanism to overcome the issue, but success for us is that cattle demonstrate zero feeding preference and we can focus on dosing and its impact on efficacy.”
Mr Messina said due to the manufacturing process used by Rumin8 to create its anti-methanogenic feed additives, the company was able to generate a highly repeatable product with respect to dosing.
“Our laboratory work to date indicates that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to dosing. In some cases, product with lower concentrations of the active ingredient performed just as well as high concentrations.”
(Left to right): 4 feed system, each day randomized positioning; Feed analyses in the lab where they test homogenous mixing of the feed supplement; Methane chambers for Phase 2
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