A new animal calorimeter using a ventilated hood was constructed in Thailand. The recovery rates of our head cage were 96.5%, 97.0%, 95.7%, and 101.8%. The recovery rates of our head cage (95.7-101.8%) are reliable compared with Japanese whole-body chambers. The 99% CO2 recovery time of our head cage was an average 14 min. It was shorter than whole-body chambers because of smaller effective volume and higher flow rate. Our head cage system excels at dynamic measurement of heat production. We started accumulating data concerning the energy value of Pangola grass (Digitaria eriantha) using 4 Brahman steers (body weight, 372.8 ± 34.4 kg, mean ± standard deviation; age, 3 years old). They were fed Pangola grass for 21 days; the grass was harvested approximately 45 days after cutting in several farms around Bangkok. Digestible energy and metabolizable energy of Pangola grass hay in our study were 10.28 and 7.99 MJ/kg dry matter. The average volume of methane production was 228.3 L/day and energy loss in the form of methane was 0.097 of the gross energy intake. These values are acceptable when compared with those obtained when low-quality tropical feed is provided to the steers.
2008 Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences