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INFLUENCE OF DIRECT-FED MICROBIALS ON RUMINAL MICROBIAL FERMENTATION AND PERFORMANCE OF RUMINANTS: A REVIEW

  • Yoon, I.K. (Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota) ;
  • Stern, M.D. (Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota)
  • Received : 1994.11.28
  • Accepted : 1995.06.20
  • Published : 1995.12.01

Abstract

Direct-fed microbials (DFM) have been used to enhance milk production in lactating cattle and to increase feed efficiency and body weight gain in growing ruminants. Primary microorganisms that have been used as DFM for ruminants are fungal cultures including Aspergillus oryzae and Saccharomyces cerevisiae and lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus or Streptococcus. Attempts have been made to determine the basic mechanisms describing beneficial effects of DFM supplements. Various modes of action for DFM have been suggested including : stimulation of ruminal microbial growth, stabilization of ruminal pH, changes in ruminal microbial fermentation pattern, increases in digestibility of nutrients ingested, greater nutrient flow to the small intestine, greater nutrient retention and alleviation of stress, however, these responses have not been observed consistently. Variations in microbial supplements, dosage level, production level and age of the animal, diet and environmental condition or various combinations of the above may partially explain the inconsistencies in response. This review summarizes production responses that have been observed under various conditions with supplemental DFM and also corresponding modification of ruminal fermentation and other changes in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminant animals.

Keywords

Direct-Feed Microbials;Mode of Action;Ruminal Fermentation;Production Response;Ruminant

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