In vivo Methane Production from Formic and Acetic Acids in the Gastrointestinal Tract of White Roman Geese

  • Chen, Yieng-How (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Tunghai University) ;
  • Wang, Shu-Yin (Department of Animal Science, Chinese Culture University) ;
  • Hsu, Jenn-Chung (Department of Animal Science, National Chung Hsing University)
  • Received : 2008.06.04
  • Accepted : 2008.11.27
  • Published : 2009.07.01


Three experiments were conducted to determine the conversion rate of formic and acetic acids into methane in the gastrointestinal tracts of geese. In experiment I, two sets of two 4-month-old male White Roman geese were allocated to one of two treatment groups. Each set of geese was inoculated either with formic acid or with phosphate buffer solution (PBS). After the acid or the PBS was inoculated into the esophagi of the geese, two birds from each treatment were placed in a respiratory chamber as a measurement unit for 4 h in order to determine methane production rate. In experiment II and III, 6- and 7-wk-old male White Roman goslings were used, respectively. Birds were allocated to receive either formic acid or PBS solution injected into the ceca in experiment II. Acetic acid or PBS solution injected into the cecum were used for experiment III. After either the acids or the PBS solution were injected into the cecum, two birds from each treatment were placed in a respiratory chamber as a measurement unit for 3 h; each treatment was repeated 3 times. The results indicated that formic acid inoculated into the oesophagi of geese was quickly converted into methane. Compared with the PBS-injected group, methane production increased by 5.02 times in the formic acid injected group (4.32 vs. 0.86 mg/kg BW/d; p<0.05). Acetic acid injected into the ceca did not increase methane production; conversely, it tended to decrease methane production. The present study suggests that formic acid may be converted to methane in the ceca, and that acetic acid may not be a precursor of methane in the ceca of geese.


Acetic Acid;Formic Acid;Gastrointestinal Tract;Geese;Methane


Supported by : Chinese Culture University


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