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Influence of Addition of Yeast Culture Supplement to Diets of Lactating Cows on Ruminal Fermentation and Microbial Populations 1

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      Abstract

      Six ruminally fistulated Holstein cows were utilized in a randomized block design to examine effects of yeast culture supplement on ruminal metabolism and apparent digestibility. Cows were fed a diet of 40% corn silage and 60% concentrate (DM basis). Treatments were control (supplement without yeast cells) and yeast culture supplement. Treatment periods were 6 wk. Ruminal pH, ammonia, molar proportions of acetate and isovalerate, and acetate:propionate ratio were lower and molar proportions of propionate and valerate higher in cows receiving yeast. The concentration of anaerobic bacteria tended to be higher and cellulolytic bacteria concentrations were greater in cows fed yeast than in cows receiving control diet. Supplemental yeast did not affect molar proportions of isobutyrate or butyrate, total VFA, or viable yeast concentrations in ruminal fluid. Ruminal liquid dilution rate and total tract apparent digestibilities were not different between treatments. Rate of disappearance of cellulose in vitro was lower in cows receiving yeast. Less variation in ammonia concentrations and mircobial numbers suggest that ruminal fermentation was more stable in cows receiving yeast culture supplement.

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