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The Effect of Yeast Culture Addition to Diets of Grass and Grass Silage on Rumen Bacterial Numbers

  • S.M. El Hassan (a1), C.J. Newbold (a1) and R.J. Wallace (a1)

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It has been suggested that the mechanism by which yeast cultures (YC), based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, improve ruminant production is by stimulating rumen fibre digestion and microbial protein flow from the rumen. Both of these effects have in turn been related to the increases in bacterial growth in the rumen observed when YC is added to the diet. However, although it is has been shown that the effectiveness of YC in improving productivity is influenced by the composition of the diet fed (Williams and Newbold, 1990), little is known about how the ability of YC to stimulate bacterial numbers in the rumen is affected by diet composition.

The effect of diet on the stimulation of bacterial numbers in the rumen by YC was investigated in the rumen simulation technique (Rusitec). Grass silage was prepared from a sward of perennial rye-grass, without the use of a preservative. Fresh grass was collected from the sward prior to ensilage and stored at -20°C. Grass (5.96 g dry matter (DM) /day) and grass silage (6.54 g DM/ day) were compared alone or supplemented with 500 mg / day YC (Yea-sacc, Alltech), in triplicate, in an experiment lasting 21 days.

Four rumen cannulated sheep, allowed ad lib access to grass silage, were used to investigate further the effects of YC on bacterial numbers in the rumen in vivo. The effects of YC (4 g/ day) were investigated in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 28 day periods.

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Carro, M.D., Lebzien, P. and Rohr, K. 1992. Effects of yeast culture on rumen fermentation, digestibility and duodenal flow in dairy cows fed a silage based diet. Livestock Prod. Sci. 32, 219229.
Huhtanen, P. 1991. Effects of yeast culture supplement on digestion of nutrients and rumen fermentation in cattle fed on a grass silage barley diet. J. Agric. Sci. Finland, 64, 443453.
Williams, P.E.V. and Newbold, C.J. 1990. Rumen probiosis: The effects of novel microorganisms on rumen fermentation and ruminant productivity. In Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition 1990, (Haresign, W. and Cole, D.J.A..), pp. 211227. Butterworths : London.

The Effect of Yeast Culture Addition to Diets of Grass and Grass Silage on Rumen Bacterial Numbers

  • S.M. El Hassan (a1), C.J. Newbold (a1) and R.J. Wallace (a1)

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