02 Jul '18, 9am

How Eating Seaweed Can Help Cows to Belch Less Methane

Four of the cows eat a mixture of alfalfa and hay, heavily spiked with the seaweed-molasses mixture. Four more will eat the same feed, with less seaweed added in. The rest are the control group — they’ll eat plain feed, without any additives at all. Roque spent nearly two weeks training the cows in how to access their own specific feeding berths, affixing each one with a transponder that allows the cow to open an electronic door to her individual trough. Not all the cows are down with the program. One, large, black-masked Holstein repeatedly shoves her smaller, more compliant neighbor aside from the open door of her berth. The smaller cow obliges every time. Roque raps the bolder cow on the nose, and it withdraws, but not for long. “They’re eating the exact same thing,” Roque says, a bit exasperated. In the paddock as in the pasture, “the grass really is always greener.” W...

Full article: https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-eating-seaweed-can-hel...

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