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32 BC HOLSTEIN NEWS a FALL 2020 Nutrition Focus
Using Yeast in Animal Diets
It’s Not Just for Beer and Bread!
  By Dr. Usama Tayyab,
Ruminant Nutritionist,
Otter Coop Feed Division, Aldergrove
To get optimal performance from livestock, the key tool is to enhance feed efficiency and minimize nutrient loss. One of the strategies to achieve better feed efficiency is the use of probiotics, e.g. yeast products. Probiotics are microbial feed supplements which act as commensals to improve host animals’ performance by improving their gut microbial balance. The use of probiotics is widely accepted in almost every region of the world. Its use bloomed especially in European countries followingthe2006banonusingantibiotics as growth promoters. Substantial research by animal scientists in different parts of the world have so far come up with widely varying results. Arguably, yeast had very inconsistent results in regard to animal production and health, but in light of recentresearch,itcanbeconcludedthat yeast can be used in animal feed, especially for dairy cows. However, scientists and farmers should consider the environment, topography, housing, management, and production stage of the animals, before decidingonappropriatesupplementation.
Through a meta-analysis of 61 studies, it was concluded that the use of commercially available yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae; SC) in the diets of lactating dairy cows resulted in increased in milk yield, milk fat, milk protein, energy corrected milk and feed intake (Poppy et al., 2012). This increased
feed intake will assist dairy farmers and dairy consultants concerned with post- partum early lactation and health.
It is pertinent to mention that yeast products are not a solution to poor management, inadequate nutrition, or low-quality forage or concentrate. Yeast products stabilize rumen pH, resisting pH change that favours the growth and activity of cellulolytic bacteria which supports efficient fibre digestion, enhanced propionate production, and increased microbial protein flow. In order to work in this manner, cows need to have adequate amounts of starch, sugar and soluble protein in the rumen. A recent study from the Journal of Dairy Science concluded that feeding yeast attenuated the depression in rumen pH, reduced lactate concentration in the rumen and haptoglobin in plasma of high producing cows fed the high starch diet, suggesting a reduced risk for subacute rumen acidosis.
Regarding swine production, SC derived from yeast can be supplemented in gestating and lactating sows to increase the litter performance and increase the immunological protection of the litter. Other effects are summarized in Table 1.
Supplementing poultry with SC has the potential to increase production and quality of products. This seems
Table 1. Efficacy of yeast in different farm animal species.
 PARAMETERS
 DAIRY COW
BEEF COW
 GESTATING AND LACTATING SOWS
  WEANING PIGS
  GROWING PIGS
  BROILERS
 LAYER
 Feed efficiency
* * *
* * * *
* *     * *   * *
* * * 0 **0
 Milk production
 **
0
**?
 0
 0
  0
 0
 Growth
performance * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 Reproduction
 0
*
 **?
  0
  0
  ***?
 0
 Animal health * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 Alternative protein source
 ***
***
 ***
  ***
  ****
  0
 0
Toxic binding
*******000**0
  ****: Excellent, ***: Good, **: Fair, *: Poor, 0: No effect, ?: need more research
more evident with broilers, where feed conversion and carcass characteristics were significantly superior in chicks treated with yeast compared to those on control diets. Immunity response in both broilersandlayersispromising,suggesting that yeast probiotics could be a suitable alternative to antibiotic use. The effects of yeast supplementation in animal diets are summarized in Table 1.
Current research is mainly focused on
studying the mechanism of probiotics action, evaluating the interaction between probiotic and prebiotic, and explaining how the genetic and bacterial profiles of the host can influence treatment responsiveness. The future target is to increase the genomic information on both probiotic and microbial flora activities to improve the understanding of the interactions with specific intestinal diseases.
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