Belly Up to the Feed Bunk

“When it comes to increasing cattle productivity, half the battle is getting cattle to belly up to the feed bunk and eat,” says Angel Aguilar, PhD, Dipl. ACAN, Technical Services Manager, Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

“Feeding behavior can be influenced by several factors,” Dr. Aguilar notes. “To get cattle coming back to the bunk, it’s important to have a palatable and aerobically stable ration that contains high quality ensiled ingredients. It’s just as important to know the animal’s digestive system is optimized to make the best use of the ration.”

New research shows ADYs encourage cattle to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day for both dairy and beef cattle.1,2 In a study, lactating dairy cows supplemented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 ate more frequent meals that tended to be smaller with no impact on overall dry matter intake. The cattle supplemented with the ADY probiotic tended to ruminate longer and have higher milk fat content and yield.1

“Research data shows S. cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 helps stabilize the ruminal pH and fermentation,” Dr. Aguilar says. “In turn, more consistent fermentation patterns can help reduce an animal’s risk of developing Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA). When SARA occurs, the rumen isn’t able to make the best use of any ration.”

Another study in beef cattle showed that adding a different strain of ADY, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079, to the ration improved meal patterns in newly weaned heifers. The heifers supplemented with the ADY probiotic consumed 15 percent more meals that were 14 percent shorter in length and 14 percent smaller in size compared to non-supplemented control cattle.2

This particular strain of ADY probiotic is active in the lower gut and can help tip the balance in favor of beneficial microbes. In turn, this helps reduce the effects of stress, Dr. Aguilar explains. Getting cattle that are recently weaned or shipped, for example, to the feed bunk can help avoid lost gain. Cattle that eat better through stressful periods can avoid compounding illnesses that may lead to bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC).

“Probiotics can have a strong effect on the natural microbes within the ruminant digestive system,” Dr. Aguilar says. “For producers, this is the cornerstone of efficiency and productivity.”

Lallemand Animal Nutrition is committed to optimizing animal performance and well-being with specific natural microbial product and service solutions. Using sound science, proven results and knowledge, Lallemand Animal Nutrition develops, manufactures and markets high value yeast and bacteria products ─ including probiotics, silage inoculants and yeast derivatives. Lallemand offers a higher level of expertise, leadership and industry commitment with long-term and profitable solutions to move our partners Forward. Lallemand Animal Nutrition is Specific for your success. For more information, please visit

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