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Working Ranch - March 2018

Rumination is a complicated process. Talk with your nutritionist and veterinarian, they’ll help you savvy. MELISSA BLASI One is ALIVE SHUTTERSTOCK.COM meaning they fl ourish during stress when conditions are right. By using a prebiotic to increase the growth rates of the microbiota and supporting a stable and diverse microbiota in the digestive system, this allows animals to more quickly adapt to stress, leading to improved performance.” Larger feedyards have the ability to mix feed and probiotics daily and these products are commonly added in the starting and transition diets, which challenge the rumen environment. Probiotics are added through a micro-system or injected in liquid form into the complete diet. Additionally, feeding a prebiotic allows microbes to remain more stable, able to rebound more quickly in hot weather. Then they can maintain effi - cient digestion and minimize digestive upsets, preventing bad bacteria to dominate and cause immune challenges. Prebiotics lead to a more stable rumen pH, minimizing the negative impact of heat stress, for example. Seventy percent of the calf’s innate immunity is located in the digestive system. Glaubius says the compromised immune system is a direct result of digestive upsets or less than ideal diversity within the microbial populations. Prebiotics mixed with minerals improve barrier function, which helps prevent bad bacteria from attaching to the lining of the small intestine. Prebiotic research indicates there is also less infl ammation and improved nutrient absorption, combined with fewer “leaky” gut symptoms. The VFD has led to a greater interest in research and development of natural prebiotics and probiotics. Glaubius is convinced current probiotic research will result in products that work even better in the future. KEEPING PATHOGENS OUT Jeff Young, Territory Sales Manager with Life Products, Inc., says live bacterial products can have signifi cant interaction and impact on animals. For instance, probiotics can be used to help calves develop and maintain a stronger gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiome, a better epithelial barrier in the digestive system and help balance the immune system in the GIT. “Probiotics can help create a more resilient and effi cient digestive system, making it harder for pathogens to penetrate the intestinal barrier, maximize nutrient absorption and balance pro and anti-infl ammatory responses,” Young reports. “This can allow the animal to maximize its genetic potential for the producer’s business.” While probiotics are more commonly used in feedyard settings, cowcalf operators can give them to young calves with boluses or pastes at birth, blended into a creep feed or included in a mineral supplement. Young says it is important to assess the viability of the product when adding to feeds and minerals because only a live product is benefi cial to animals. Currently used prebiotics and probiotics work in different ways, including: • Specifi c prebiotics made from yeast tend to attach to and bind E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella, and are able to exit the animal before causing illness. • Some yeast species may reduce the physiological load during beta-agonist feeding periods during hot weather. • Certain plant-based prebiotics may improve mineral absorption in cattle. Although producers are willing to look at these products, Young reports skepticism has grown since the market has been fl ooded with probiotics with little or no research or quality manufacturing to support them. 36 I WORKING RANCH I MARCH 2018


Working Ranch - March 2018
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