Farmers who have tested the feeding technique also report that the new feed result in tastier milk and healthier cows.
Image via Flickr
[mf_h5 align=”left” transform=”uppercase”]2. Make Cow Stomachs Behave Like Kangaroo Stomachs[/mf_h5]
Speaking of rumens, kangaroos also have one to help them ferment grass before it passes into other stomachs. But while cows burp large amounts of methane, kangaroos only belch tiny amounts of harmless acid. That has Australia’s Athol Klieve thinking he might able be to teach a cow’s foregut to act like a kangaroo’s by shifting its microbial composition.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
[mf_h5 align=”left” transform=”uppercase”]3. Breed Less Gassy Cows[/mf_h5]
Why use artificial selection to adjust color, shape and size when you can breed a cow to be less gassy? Stephen Moore, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, started examining cow genetics in 2009. In primary tests, Moore managed to breed cattle that produced 25 percent less methane than an average cow. He achieved the results through breeding the cows to grow faster — thus reducing the amount of time they have to burp on the feed lot — and improving the efficiency by which they turn food into muscle.
Grape pomace from wineries in Southern Australia. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
[mf_h5 align=”left” transform=”uppercase”]4. Get Them Kinda Wasted[/mf_h5]
Nothing like a nice feed bucket of wine byproducts to ease a cow’s stomach. A 2011 study from the Victoria Department of Primary Industries in Australia found that feeding cows grape pomace — the stems, seeds and skins from wine grapes — reduced methane emissions from cattle by 20 percent. The feed also increased the number of nutritional fatty acids in the cow’s milk.
In a related effect, Canadian rancher Jandince Ravndahl began feeding her Angus cows one liter of homemade red wine each day. The cow cocktails improve the meat texture and reduce greenhouse emissions from the livestock. According to Ravndahl, the cows also moo more and seemed relaxed.
A cow at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology on the outskirts of Buenos Aires in 2008. Reuters/Marcos Brindicci
[mf_h5 align=”left” transform=”uppercase”]5. Have their Gas Inflate a Balloon[/mf_h5]
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