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Managing rumen stability properly. But how?

Yeasts support a healthy rumen and optimal feed intake

Yeast-based supplements can help your dairy cows to cope with difficult phases. They strengthen the rumen conditions and provide optimal support for the animals. A wide variety of products are in use.

For optimal feed intake in dairy cattle, the rumen is the most critical part of the ruminant digestion.

A delicate symbiosis of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa decomposes the feed components and supplies the ruminant with nutrients.

This system requires a continuous feed intake and an optimal interaction between eating and rumination activity. Disturbances of the system lead to a reduction in rumen stability and nutrient supply. The result is a reduction in the performance of the animals and an increase in the probability of diseases.

The problems often begin with reduced feed intake and regurgitating activity. Possible causes are various diseases. However, calving also regularly leads to a reduction in feed intake. Changes in the composition of feed rations can also be an influencing factor.

To break this negative cycle, feed additives and feed supplements are available to support the rumen microbes and thus stabilize the rumen conditions.

This method has proven itself many times in day-to-day dairy farm management and is therefore very popular. Different yeast products are used, and depending on the situation, products can be administered to the whole herd or to the individual animal.

Yeasts in ruminant nutrition

There is a wide range of different yeast products, depending on the specific requirements of animal nutrition.

In addition to the probiotic live yeast, there are various inactivated yeasts: Yeast cultures, yeast cell walls and hydrolyzed yeasts.

  • Live yeasts are a "living" feed additive and are considered probiotics. In the rumen, they create anaerobic conditions which promote the growth of strictly anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria and thus the digestibility of crude fiber. Also, live yeasts reduce the growth of lactate-forming bacteria and at the same time promote lactate-degrading bacteria. The resulting pH stabilization improves the fermentation performance of the rumen and feed utilization. Higher feed utilization and a healthier rumen environment may lead to an increase in milk yield and fewer health problems for ruminants.
  • Yeast cell walls contain mannans, i.e., carbohydrates as polysaccharides. Mannans have an intestinal flora-stabilizing and pathogen-binding effect. In addition, other polysaccharides (β-1.3-1.6-glucans) stimulate the non-specific immune system.
  • Hydrolyzed yeasts: Hydrolysis is a gentle process that releases all nutrients and makes them more readily available. The digestibility of hydrolyzed yeast is comparable to that of animal protein sources. In addition to the yeast cell walls, hydrolyzed yeasts also contain the cell content, which is rich in peptides and micronutrients. These promote the growth of rumen microbes and thereby increase the digestibility of nutrients. The improved rumen fermentation stimulates feed intake, which results in increased milk yield.

RumiPro Line for optimal rumen conditions

Because of their favorable effects, feed supplements and additives that make use of the positive properties of yeasts are becoming more and more popular.

Under the name RumiPro, Biochem has combined three products that complement each other, and all make a decisive contribution to optimized dairy cattle feeding. We recommend two products for use at herd level:

RumiPro Top: this is a combination of live and hydrolyzed yeast. This creates optimal conditions in the rumen and additionally supplies the rumen bacteria with micronutrients.

RumiPro Basic is a hydrolyzed yeast that is used for pelleted dairy cattle compound feed when live yeast products cannot be used efficiently.

RumiPro Appetizer is a good alternative for problems that affect individual animals rather than the entire herd.

RumiPro Appetizer: Increases rumination activity

With RumiPro Appetizer, Biochem has a product in its portfolio that supports ruminants specifically and individually in times of significantly reduced feed and chewing activity.

On the one hand, RumiPro Appetizer contains substances that can easily be used by rumen bacteria as a food source. That stimulates their growth and activity. On the other hand, a synergistic yeast combination optimizes the conditions for rumen microbes.

To investigate the effects of RumiPro Appetizer on the health and performance of dairy cows, Biochem recently conducted a field study: the chewing activity, performance data and health status of 40 dairy cows were recorded right after calving.

Half of the animals in the treatment group (the other half was the control group) were given the product RumiPro Appetizer orally immediately after calving and again after approx. 12 hours.

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The results are clear: the typical decrease in chewing activity at the time after calving was reduced by supplementation. The animals in the treatment group regained their regular rumination activity much faster.

Chewing activity - RumiPro

Also, the animals in the treatment group showed an increased milk yield in the first six weeks of lactation compared to the control group. RumiPro Appetizer helped the animals to start lactation even better.

Conclusion

Insufficient feed intake in dairy cattle is a common problem, especially around calving time. However, also during or after illnesses, a reduced feed intake can lead to further problems.

Yeast-based feed supplements and additives, such as Biochem's RumiPro Line, have proven to be an effective way to control rumen conditions so that feed intake and chewing activity return to optimal levels faster.

That naturally has a positive effect on the milk yield, and therefore yeast products are increasingly accepted in practice.

A wide range of yeast-based feed supplements and additives offers the possibility of targeted support, depending on the circumstances and the problem at hand.

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