Direct fed microbials (DFMs) are live microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast, designed to populate the digestive tract and support overall health. Common beneficial microorganisms found in DFMs include lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Bacillus, and a more recent DFM technology called propionibacteria.
No single DFM technology works in every situation, which is why products containing diverse technologies are most effective for developing a healthy microbial balance in the digestive tract.
Bio-Vet’s Generator™ ULTRA is a DFM blend for ruminants, providing high levels of microorganisms, including rumen/intestinal origin bacteria, live yeast and digestive enzymes. Generator™ ULTRA contains strains of Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus lactis, Pediococcus cerevisiae, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis.
Milk tests conducted on treated and control groups of Jersey cows suggest that cows fed Generator™ ULTRA had higher milk production, energy corrected milk (ECM) production and fat corrected milk (FCM) production, compared to untreated control animals. Data for 495 Generator ULTRA treated animals and 447 control animals were initially enrolled in the trial. The final analysis for the 1st and 2nd tests included 265 ULTRA treated cows and 281 control cows. When evaluating animals in all lactation groups (1st, 2nd and 3+ lactations) together, Jersey cattle fed ULTRA had significantly higher (P<0.01) milk production, ECM production and FCM production than the control animals for both the first and second milk tests.
Milk production was 3.4 lbs. and 3.2 lbs. greater for ULTRA cows compared to controls for the first and second milk tests, respectively. ECM was 3.1 lbs. and 4.5 lbs. greater for ULTRA cows compared to controls for the first and second tests, respectively. FCM was 2.8 lbs. and 4.7 lbs. greater for ULTRA cows compared to controls for the first and second tests, respectively. All numbers were statistically significant (P≤0.01).
Breaking cows into lactation groups (1st, 2nd and 3+) among the Jersey cattle, the biggest ULTRA production benefits were present in the 1st and 2nd lactation cows.
During the first test for 1st lactation cows, milk production was numerically higher (1.3 lbs., P=0.18) for the ULTRA group compared to controls. ECM (1.7 lbs., P=0.12) and FCM (1.6 lbs., P=0.16) were also numerically higher for the cattle fed ULTRA compared to control cows. By the second test, 1st lactation cows were significantly higher in milk production (3.1 lbs.), ECM (3.5 lbs.) and FCM (3.5 lbs.) when compared to control animals (P<0.01).
The extrapolated 305 ME (Mature Equivalent) for the 1st lactation group on ULTRA was also significantly higher compared to control animals (+497 lbs., P=0.033). The 2nd lactation group showed an even greater response to ULTRA than did the 1st lactation group. During the first test, 2nd lactation animals had significantly higher milk production on ULTRA (3.5 lbs.) compared to the control animals (P=0.02). ECM and FCM during the first test were numerically, but not significantly, higher than control animals.
During the second test, 2nd lactation animals on ULTRA had statistically significant improvements in milk production (6.1 lbs., P<0.01), ECM (7.2 lbs., P<0.01) and FCM (7.3 lbs., P<0.001) compared to control animals.
Component analysis indicated significant increases in percent protein during the first test for ULTRA animals, with the majority of it occurring in the 1st lactation group. Percent fat for the 2nd lactation group at first test and for the 3+ lactation group at second test were significantly increased for ULTRA cows compared to control animals. Pounds of fat and protein were also significantly higher for the ULTRA animals of both 1st and 2nd lactation groups during the second milk test. (Component data not shown.)
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