Read more content on The Animal Nutrition August 2020
The daily carbon footprint of dairy goats was reduced in 0.26 kg carbon dioxide equivalents when goats were fed diets with lower levels of crude protein. There were no differences in production of carbon dioxide eq when this amount was expressed per kg of milk.
The aim of this trial is to reduce the protein content of dairy goat diets in order to decrease the excretion of N in faeces and urine.
Materials and Methods
Goats from the Murciano-Granadina breed were used as a model for ruminant animals during the mid-lactation period (43 kg average live weight).
The greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide [N2O], carbon dioxide [CO2] and methane [CH4]), expressed in CO2 equivalents, are presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Carbon footprint of dairy goats fed different levels of crude protein (CP)
A lower emission, expressed in kg of CO2 eq, coming from the CO2 and N2O gases was associated to the low CP ration. This reduction in gases was not followed by a reduction in CH4 gas.
The reduction of the CP of the ration by 4 points led to a reduction of 0.26 kg of CO2 eq per goat per day.
The present study is a theoretical approximation with values determined in the trial conditions and using the individual goat as a model.
In other words, the herd and the type of farm have not been evaluated and therefore do not include emissions from the farm or its daily management (electricity, transport, gas, petrol, purchase of food, etc.).
Note: This article was originally published in the nutriNews in Spanish as Fernandez, C. & Bacha, F. (2020) La huella de carbono en ganado caprino.