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J Anim Sci. 1991 Jul;69(7):3016-26.

Effects of the inclusion of yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae plus growth medium) in the diet of dairy cows on milk yield and forage degradation and fermentation patterns in the rumen of steers.

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Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland.


The effects of including yeast culture (YC; Saccharomyces cerevisae plus growth medium; 5 x 10(9) organisms/g) in diets for ruminants was examined in two experiments. In Exp. 1, 32 multiparous Friesian dairy cows were fed between wk 7 to 12 of lactation one of four completely mixed diets based on either hay or straw plus rolled barley (mixed to give concentrate:forage ratios of either 50:50 or 60:40, respectively) with or without 10 g YC/d in a 2(3) factorial design. Supplementation with YC increased DM intake of the cows by a mean of 1.2 kg/d (P less than or equal to .062) and increased milk yield by 1.4 liters/d (corrected to 4% butterfat; P less than or equal to .05). There was an interaction (P less than .05) between diet composition and YC addition; effects of YC were greatest in diets containing 60:40 (concentrate:forage) ratio. In Exp. 2, three steers were fed a diet of 50% hay and 50% rolled barley (DM basis). Hay was available for the major part of the day but barley was fed in two meals/d. Addition of YC to the diet increased (P less than .05) ruminal pH for 4 h after the barley meal. This elevation in pH probably was due to a reduction (P less than or equal to .01) in the concentration of L-lactate in the ruminal liquor of steers given YC (1.43 vs 3.55 mM; P less than or equal to .01). Peak ruminal L-lactate concentration (7.75 mM) in the controls coincided with time of minimum pH values (2 h after the meal of barley); this peak was absent in steers given YC. YC had no effect on the concentration of VFA in ruminal liquor, but the ratio of acetate to propionate was reduced (P less than or equal to .01) from 3.3:1 to 2.8:1 in steers given YC. The extent of DM degradation of hay incubated in the rumen of steers fed the hay and rolled barley diet was increased (P less than .05) in the presence of YC at 12 h of incubation, but degradation was similar in all treatment groups after 24 h of incubation. Presence of yeast culture in the rumen had effects on ruminal stoichiometry. An increased rate of forage degradation may have increased forage intake and productivity of these dairy cows.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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