The effects of supplementation of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and postbiotic from Lactobacillus acidophilus on the health and growth performance of young Jersey heifer calves

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The study aimed to investigate the effects of a yeast/lactobacillus product, 'ZooLac Bovimix Milk', on the performance and health of Jersey heifer calves during the first month of life. The product contained live yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and postbiotic from Lactobacillus acidophilus. Danish Jersey heifer calves (n = 148) at birth were randomly allocated to a control diet (CON; 76 calves) or a diet supplemented with the yeast/lactobacillus product in the milk replacer (PRO; 72 calves). The average birth weight was 25.5 ± 0.3 kg and 25.4 ± 0.3 kg for CON and PRO groups, respectively. The yeast/lactobacillus product constituted 0.7% dry matter (DM) of the milk replacer for PRO group. Faecal samples were collected from 40 calves of each treatment around days 6-8 and 25-28, while blood was sampled from all calves around days 2-4 and 26-28. Additionally, 30 other faecal samples were obtained from some calves treated for diarrhoea. Significantly higher growth performance was observed in PRO group animals than in CON group ones, while no effect was found in the number of antibiotic treatments. The DM-% in manure from PRO group tended to be higher than for CON. Causative agents of diarrhoea were either Cryptosporidium spp., rotavirus A or both. Serum metabolites were unaffected by the treatment, however CON group tended to have a higher IgA level. Thus, supplementation of the yeast/lactobacillus product into the milk replacer during the first month of life had a positive effect on calf growth performance but did apparently not affect the overall health.

TidsskriftJournal of Animal and Feed Sciences
Sider (fra-til)224-233
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020

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