Interpretive Summary: Effects of bacterial direct-fed microbial mixtures offered to beef cattle consuming finishing diets on intake, nutrient digestibility, feeding behavior, and ruminal kinetics/fermentation profile
By: Kaliu G Scaranto Silva, Jhones O Sarturi, Bradley J Johnson, Dale R Woerner, Alejandra M Lopez, Barbara M Rodrigues, Kaue T Nardi, Camron J Rush
During the finishing phase, a high-energy diet offers benefits related to beef cattle growth and development. However, it is essential to acknowledge that finisher diets are energy-dense and can pose digestive challenges, such as subacute ruminal acidosis. Digestive disturbances negatively affect animal well-being, growth performance, and economic returns. To address digestive challenges endured by animals on high-energy diets, the current experiment focused on the addition of bacterial direct-fed microbial (DFM) mixtures. A unique combination of bacterial DFM containing Lactobacillus animalis, Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus licheniformis was evaluated. These bacteria have been individually reported to improve cattle nutrient utilization, digestibility, ruminal function, and maintain ruminal pH. The study aimed to investigate the effects of this specific microbial combination and doses when added to beef cattle finisher diets. The DFM mixtures offered seemed to not affect intake and major feeding behavior variables. The DFM combination containing a greater proportion of B. licheniformis (Treat-A) seemed to elicit an improved total tract core-fiber digestibility, and a safer ruminal pH pattern. The ruminal environment was shown to be more prone to improve the ruminal effective degradability of fiber fractions, while also releasing more NH3–N.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.