How microbial solutions can help optimize ruminant performance

A precise nutritional approach and environmental management strategy can help optimize rumen efficiency
calendar icon 24 April 2024
clock icon 4 minute read

During their full life cycle, ruminants face multiple stressors and challenges. A precise nutritional approach and environmental management strategy can help optimize rumen efficiency and help maintain ruminant health. There are multiple ways to achieve these goals and partnering with the microbial ecosystem of the farm is an innovative approach.

Precision feeding and all the sensors available on farms are changing the way we are managing dairy cows. When it comes to nutrition, before adapting rations, there is a need to better understand rumen digestive health, feeding behavior, fiber digestibility, non-dietary factors and more.

Compared to other farm animals, precision feeding dairy cattle is a growing concept it helps to precisely adapt feeding strategies across the different life stages to cope with the specific challenges of each life stage. The opportunities include increased feed intake levels, increased rumen efficiency to generate more milk from the ration and higher income-over-feed costs. The use of farm technology, on-farm data, nutritional advances, and rumen modeling is paving the way to make these opportunities happen.

From the different tools available, microbial solutions are promising with an already long list of science-to-field proof of benefits. At farm level, rumen function management is demonstrated, by improving feed efficiency and supporting immunity, which leads to optimal performance and helps maintain animal well-being.

As a pioneering expert in yeast and bacteria selection and production, Lallemand Animal Nutrition offers a complete range of probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics housing solutions to help improve ruminant efficiency and longevity. An integrated approach is crucial to help meet the challenges of ruminant farming systems and to help improve the sustainability of the way of production by increasing feed efficiency and participating to animal well-being and longevity. This is why, for Lallemand Animal Nutrition, taking the farm as a global microbial ecosystem is a key option to consider for the entire farm system.

An integrated approach from building through forage and feed to the cow’s milk... microbial solutions can be used through the whole farm system:

This microbial ecosystem starts with the cow’s building environment. Using microbial solutions, like MANURE PRO, a water-dispersible powder with live bacteria and enzymes, can helps promote the development of these beneficial microorganisms in the bedding. Ultimately this will help maintain a good bedding quality through reduced moisture and decreased pH. In turns, it will have benefits on maintaining animal welfare and on improving manure/slurry quality. Such solutions are sprayed directly on the bedding. Other applications consist to apply directly on the hoof of animal, helping to maintain an optimal hoof microbial environment which will have subsequent benefits on reducing cows’ overall lameness scores, for example.

Forage is also a complex microbial ecosystem. Inoculating the forage with specific bacteria and enzymes can help producers take control of silage quality to manage feed costs. Some inoculant strains, such as those found in the MAGNIVA range, are proven to help reduce losses and preserve key nutrients in the forage. As a consequence, nutritional quality of the forage is preserved and intake is optimized , it helps to extract more from your forage as energy for your cows.

A specific microbial ecosystem is located in the rumen, supporting fermentation and nutrient extraction. It is where microbial solutions, such as LEVUCELL SC, a rumen-specific live yeast, can balance microbiota, help reduce lactic-acid producing bacteria and hep increase the fibrolytic population. More energy is extracted from the same amount of feed and the risk of Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) is reduced, thanks to pH increase.

With the rumen-specific live yeast LEVUCELL SC, dairy cows can produce up to 6% more milk with the same amount of feed from normal conditions to highly challenging conditions, such as heat stress or transition period. In the feed, prebiotics and postbiotics' microbial solutions can also be used for their toxin-binding activities (with the Mannans Oligo Sacharrides (MOS) contained in AGRIMOS), or to activate specific immunity patterns at lower gut levels in young ruminants or adults. For example, YANG, an innovative association of synergistic inactivated yeast fractions, when fed in the milk replacer can help maintain animal heath which results in reduced morbidity leading to a global increase in average daily gain.

Lallemand is also turning science into best practices, by connecting our customers and partners with internationally recognized experts, by offering continuous education and training, by helping feed millers to formulate more accurately and farmers to feed more precisely, or even by providing on-farm assessments and feed analysis. We also constantly place innovation at the forefront, developing optimal forms of live yeast adapted to different feeding strategies. TITAN technology increased livability of the yeast through pelleting process, MICROBEAD form is dedicated to optimal homogeneity and livability into harsh storage conditions such as mineral feed. This microbial solutions are also available in blended formulations to target specific challenges.

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