The effects of active dried and killed dried yeast on subacute ruminal acidosis, ruminal fermentation, and nutrient digestibility in beef heifers.

Vyas, D., Uwizeye, A., Mohammed, R., Yang, W.-Z., Walker, N.D., and Beauchemin, K.A. (2014). "The effects of active dried and killed dried yeast on subacute ruminal acidosis, ruminal fermentation, and nutrient digestibility in beef heifers.", Journal of Animal Science, 92(2), pp. 724-732. doi : 10.2527/jas.2013-7072  Access to full text

Abstract

The study addressed the importance of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) viability for reducing the incidence of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) and improving total tract nutrient digestibility in beef heifers. Six ruminally cannulated beef heifers (680 ± 50 kg BW) were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design and were fed a diet consisting of 40% barley silage, 10% chopped grass hay, and 50% barley grain-based concentrate (DM basis). Treatments were 1) no yeast (Control), 2) active dried yeast (ADY; 4 g providing 10(10) cfu/g; AB Vista, Marlborough, UK), and 3) killed dried yeast (KDY; 4 g autoclaved ADY). The treatments were directly dosed via the ruminal cannula daily at the time of feeding. The periods consisted of 2 wk of adaptation (d 1 to 14) and 7 d of measurements (d 15 to 21). Ruminal pH was continuously measured (d 15 to 21) using an indwelling system. Ruminal contents were sampled on d 15 and 17 at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 h after feeding. Total tract nutrient digestibility was measured using an external marker (YbCl3) from d 15 to 19. No treatment difference was observed for DMI (P = 0.86). Yeast supplementation (ADY and KDY) tended to increase total tract digestibility of starch (P = 0.07) whereas no effects were observed on digestibility of other nutrients. Both ADY and KDY elevated minimum (P < 0.01) and mean ruminal pH (P = 0.02) whereas no effects were observed on maximum pH (P = 0.12). Irrespective of its viability, yeast supplementation was effective in reducing time that ruminal pH was below 5.8 (P < 0.01) and 5.6 (P < 0.01). No treatment differences were observed for the ruminal VFA profile and lactate concentration. No treatment differences were observed on the relative population size of Streptococcus bovis, Fibrobacter succinogenes, and Megasphaera elsdenii (P > 0.10); however, the proportion of Ruminococcus flavefaciens in solid fraction of digesta was greater with KDY (P = 0.05). The study demonstrates the positive effects of yeast, irrespective of its viability, in reducing the severity of SARA. However, further studies are required to evaluate the importance of yeast viability for other dietary conditions, particularly when the risk of acidosis is high.

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