The objective of this study was to determine methane (CH) and carbon dioxide (CO) emissions from 8 beef heifers (approximately 20 mo of age and 382 ± 24.3 kg BW) measured by respiration chambers and the sulfur hexafluoride (SF) tracer technique and a mobile head-chamber, spot-sampling system (GreenFeed; C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD) when fed alfalfa silage at 3 feeding levels and 4 feeding frequencies. Feeding frequency may affect CH yield (g/kg DMI), and measurement systems (such as GreenFeed or SF) are needed to obtain accurate estimates of CH emissions from individual cattle under grazing where new pasture is provided once or twice daily. The Hereford × Friesian heifers were used in 5 consecutive periods (P1 to P5) of 14 d with CH and CO emissions measured with the SF technique in wk 1 (5-6 d), with chambers in wk 2 (2 d), and with the GreenFeed system when not in chambers (8 d) of each period. Alfalfa silage was restricted to 6, 8, 8, and 8 kg DM/d in P1, P2, P3, and P4, respectively, and provided ad libitum (10.9-12.2 kg DM/d) in P5. Silage was fed in 2, 2, 3, and 4 meals per day in P1, P2, P3, and P4, respectively, and was continuously available (refilled twice daily) in P5. Methane production increased from 141 to 265 g/d as DMI doubled ( < 0.001), but average CH yields measured in respiration chambers (24.5 g/kg DMI) and by the SF technique (22.8 g CH/kg DMI) and the GreenFeed system (26.2 g/kg DMI) were unaffected by feeding management ( = 0.6 for chambers and SF and = 0.06 for GreenFeed). The CH yields estimated by the GreenFeed system did not differ from CH yields estimated by the chambers in P1, P2, P3, and P5 but were greater ( < 0.02) than CH yields estimated by the SF technique in P2, P3, P4, and P5. Yields of CO (g/kg DMI) decreased with increasing DMI ( < 0.04) and CO production (g/d) increased from 5,293 to 9,167 g/d as DMI increased ( < 0.001). In general, the SF technique and the GreenFeed system provided means for CH yield that were not different from those of respiration chambers, and CH yields (g/kg DMI) were unaffected by DMI level or feeding frequency.

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