In recent years, beef finishers have turned their attention to live yeast to supplement rations as a way to drive performance in their cattle and increase profit.
Beef producers strive to turn out cattle that are capable of meeting the current market demands including carcass specifications and carcass weights. While concentrates, fodder and additives (molasses etc) make up the bulk of a finishing diet, live yeast products have also been found to deliver significant results.
A string of research trials have been conducted with the different strains of yeast available.
Some of the benefits that have been noted by finishers include the following:
- Improvement in feed intake.
- Better feed efficiency.
- Increase weight gain.
- Earlier finishing times.
- Heavier carcass weights.
- Cattle appear more alert.
- Improved comfort.
- Healthier livestock.
- Cattle appear cleaner, with improved coat condition.
- Reduce the occurrence of lameness.
- Better growth rates.
- Reduce the occurrence of acidosis.
According to AllAboutFeed.net, research has shown that certain strains of S. cerevisiae can assist with the prevention of the decrease in rumen pH associated with feeding a cereal-based diet. Acidosis is one of the major disorders that is of huge concern to beef finishers in particular and can occur when cattle are being fed a diet consisting of a high level of rapidly digestible carbohydrates, for example.
In many cases, a lot of feeders turn to yeast supplements when their cattle appear to be under stressed or are challenged with a disease or a disorder. We have been informed of reports where farmers have started using the product because of heat stress.
Dairy farmers are also reaping the rewards of live yeasts productions, with improvements in protein and butterfat content in milk and increased yield, with reports of anything up to a possible two litres.
One of the major disadvantages that farmers have noted is the actual cost of the product, however with improved performance comes profit, so this can outweigh this negative factor. In many cases, the product is dusted onto concentrates or silage in other cases, which means that the animal's intake of yeast depends on their intake of concentrates or silage.
If you are considering live yeast supplements for your farm, it is advised to work in conjunction with the company’s sales representative or a Ruminant Sales Technician, to devise the most suitable plan for your herd, to meet their dietary requirements.