Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae-based products and effects on rumen environment and performance of sheep subjected to dietary changes
ABSTRACT: Natural additives in ruminant diet optimizes animal performance by controlling or modifying the rumen fermentation pattern. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of using Saccharomyces cerevisiae products during abrupt changes in dietary starch concentration on ruminal pH maintenance, performance and metabolism of confined sheep. Twenty adult ewes, crossbred Texel x Corriedale(44.7±6.97 Kg BW) were divided into three groups: Control (n=6), Cultron X (yeast culture; n=7) and Cultron Pro (hydrolyzed yeast; n=7), administered at a dose of 5 g/sheep/day (10x1010CFU/g DM). The experiment lasted 20 days divided into four periods, alternating between 40 and 60% concentrate. Blood and ruminal fluid were collected at the end of each period, and daily dry matter intake was measured to determine the average daily gain (ADG). Blood tests included blood count and biochemical parameters such as glucose, urea, total plasma proteins (TPP), liver enzymes, acute phase proteins and minerals. There was an upward trend in ADG in group Cultron X compared to control in period 3. Although, ruminal pH did not differ between groups, protozoan motility was higher in animals supplemented with hydrolyzed yeast. The Cultron Pro group showed an increase in TPP in periods 3 and 4, and AST in periods 2 and 3 compared to the control group. There was no difference in other metabolites. Yeast supplementation is a potential tool in times of feeding challenge, in which yeast culture is the most effective for improving performance of confined sheep being in improving performance of confined sheep.