1st Page



This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 90 No. 11, p. 4001-4013
    Received: Nov 6, 2011
    Accepted: May 18, 2012
    Published: January 20, 2015

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Effects of saponin extracts on air emissions from steers1

  1. W. Li and
  2. W. Powers 2
  1. Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824


A series of experiments were conducted to quantify the effects of saponin extracts from Quillaja saponaria Molina (QS), Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies (YS), and Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze (TS) on gaseous emissions from steers (Bos taurus). During Exp. 1, a control diet [C1, corn (Zea mays L.) and corn silage basal diet] was compared with YS1 (C1 + 0.64% dietary DM of YS) and QS1 (C1 + 1.5% dietary DM of QS), with 4 replicates per treatment. During Exp. 2, the control diet (C2, corn and corn silage basal diet) was compared with TS2 (C2 + 0.25% dietary DM of TS). Product inclusion levels were established to provide the same concentration of saponin compounds across studies for Exp. 1 and 2. Experiment 3 compared C3 (corn and corn silage basal diet), QS3 (C3 + 1.5% QS), YS3 (C3 + 1.5% YS), and TS3 (C3 + 0.5% TS). Holstein steers (n = 12) at initial BW of 354 ± 10kg (Exp. 1), 429 ± 10 kg (Exp. 2), 382 ± 16 kg (Period 1, Exp. 3) and 400 ± 12 kg (Period 2, Exp. 3) were individually housed in environmental rooms for 22 d per study. Gaseous emissions including methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and nitrous oxide (N2O) were monitored in room exhaust air. No differences in DMI (7.54 ± 0.09 kg) and ADG (1.16 ± 0.19 kg) were observed in Exp. 1 (P > 0.05). Adding TS2 to the diet improved DMI in Exp. 2 (8.94 kg in TS2 vs. 8.53 in C2; P < 0.01), whereas ADG was not affected by diet. During Exp. 3, steers fed the TS3 diet ate less (6.36kg/d) and gained less BW (0.31kg/d) compared with the other 3 treatments. Saponin inclusion did not alter daily CH4 emission per unit DMI (13.17, 10.90, and 13.21 g/kg DMI, for Exp. 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Emissions of NH3 per unit N intake were not affected by diets in Exp. 1 (134.89mg/g N consumed) and Exp. 3 (134.99 mg/g N consumed). Feeding TS2 reduced NH3 emission per unit of N consumed by 30% compared with C2 (P < 0.01). Feeding up to 0.5% of TS failed to reduce CH4 emissions without impairing steer growth. Nitrous oxide emissions were not affected by TS addition. Air emissions were not affected by feeding steers with up to 1.5% YS. Feeding 1.5% QS to steers had an inconsistent effect upon NH3 emissions and no other effects upon gaseous emissions were seen from steers.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2012. American Society of Animal Science