This study evaluated the effects of biochar differing in source, inclusion level, and particle size on dry matter disappearance (DMD), total gas and methane (CH4) production, and ruminal fermentation in a barley silage-based diet. The seven biochar products used were coconut (CP001 and CP014) or pine (CP002, CP015, CP016, CP023, CP024)-based. Experiment 1 (Exp. 1) evaluated these biochars at 4.5%, 13.5%, and 22.5% level of diet inclusion, whereas Experiment 2 (Exp. 2) evaluated CP002, CP016, and CP023 at 2.25% and 4.50% of the diet at <0.5, 0.5–2.0, >2.0 mm particle size. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED in SAS as a randomized complete block design, with biochar source, inclusion level, and particle size (Exp. 2 only) as fixed effects with run and replicate as random effects. Increasing level of biochar inclusion linearly (P < 0.01) decreased DMD in Exp. 1 and did not influence DMD (P > 0.05) in Exp. 2. Total gas, CH4 (mL·g−1 DMD), and ruminal fermentation parameters were not affected by product, inclusion level, or particle size (P > 0.05). In conclusion, biochar of varying source and particle size did not mitigate CH4 production, but reduced DMD at higher inclusion levels in the barley silage-based diet.
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