Short communication: Short-term effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol on feed dry matter intake in lactating dairy cows

A. Melgar, K. Nedelkov, C.M.M.R. Martins, K.C. Welter, Xianjiang Chen, S.E. Räisänen, M.T. Harper, J. Oh, S. Duval, A.N. Hristov

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The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), an enteric methane inhibitor under investigation, on short-term dry matter intake (DMI) in lactating dairy cows. Following a 1-wk adaptation period, 12 multiparous Holstein cows were fed a basal total mixed ration (TMR) containing increasing levels of 3-NOP during 5 consecutive, 6-d periods. The experiment was conducted in a tiestall barn. Feed bins were split in half by a solid divider, and cows simultaneously received the basal TMR supplemented with the following: (1) a placebo without 3-NOP or (2) 3-NOP included in the TMR at 30, 60, 90, or 120 mg/kg of feed dry matter (experimental periods 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively). Cows received the control diet (basal TMR plus placebo premix) during experimental period 1. A premix containing ground corn grain, soybean oil, and dry molasses was used to incorporate 3-NOP in the ration. Cows were fed twice daily as follows: 60% of the daily feed allowance at 0800 h and 40% at 1800 h. Feed offered and refused was recorded at each feeding. During the morning feedings, each cow was offered either control or 3-NOP-treated TMR at 150% of her average intake during the previous 3 d. After collection of the evening refusals, cows received only the basal TMR without the premix until the next morning feeding. The test period for the short-term DMI data collection was defined from morning feeding to afternoon refusals collection during each day of each experimental period. Location (left or right) of the control and 3-NOP diets within a feed bin was switched every day during each period to avoid feed location bias. Dry matter intake of TMR during the test period was quadratically increased by 3-NOP compared with the control. Inclusion of 3-NOP at 120 mg/kg of feed dry matter resulted in decreased 10-h DMI compared with the lower 3-NOP doses, but was similar to the control. There was no effect of feed location (left or right) within feed bin on DMI. Data from this short-term study suggests that 3-NOP does not have a negative effect on DMI in lactating dairy cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11496-11502
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number12
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the USDA (Washington, DC) National Institute of Food and Agriculture Federal Appropriations under Project PEN 04539 and Accession number 1000803. The authors thank DSM Nutritional Products (Basel, Switzerland) for providing partial financial support for the project and for supplying 3-NOP. The authors also thank the staff of the Pennsylvania State University's Dairy Teaching and Research Center (University Park) for their conscientious care and management of the animals and for technical assistance during the study. A. Melgar was supported by the Government of Panama through the IFARHU-SENACYT Scholarship Program (Clayton, City of Knowledge, Panama) and the Agricultural Research Institute of Panama (IDIAP; Clayton, City of Knowledge, Panama). The authors have not stated any conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Dairy Science Association

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 3-nitrooxypropanol
  • dairy cattle
  • short-term dry matter intake


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