Microbial status and rumen enzyme profile of crossbred calves fed on different microbial feed additives

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Aims:To test various microbial cultures as cattle feed additives.Methods and Results:Four groups of newly born crossbred calves (average body weight 23·5 kg) were reared on green berseem and calf starter which was devoid of cereal grains. Milk was fed up to 8 weeks of age, starting with one tenths and gradually reducing to one twentieths of the body weight. One hundred millilitres of microbial feed additive or 100 g fermented feed was fed to the animals of group 2 (curd containing lactic acid bacteria at 108 cfu ml−1), group 3 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCDC-49 at 106 cfu ml−1) and group 4 (Lactobacillus acidophilus-15 at 108 cfu ml−1). Group 1 served as control. The incidence and duration of diarrhoea was lower in the animals of probiotic fed groups as compared to control group. Out of three microbial feed additives, yeast feeding showed maximum suppression of diarrhoea followed by Lactobacillus and curd.Conclusions, Significance and Impact of the Study:There was no effect of probiotic feeding on the log number of cells of lactic acid bacteria, yeast and coliform bacteria in the faeces and rumen liquor at any age. The activities of carboxymethylcellulase, xylanase, β-glucosidase, α-glucosidase, α-amylase, protease, urease and pH of the rumen liquor remained unaffected by probiotic feeding at all ages tested in this experiment.

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