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Effect of a Probiotic Compound in Rumen Development, Diarrhea Incidence and Weight Gain in Young Holstein Calves

Authors: Camilo Aldana, Sara Cabra, Carlos A. Ospina, Fredy Carvajal, Fernando Rodríguez


It has been proven that early establishment of microbial flora in digestive tract of ruminants, has a beneficial effect on their health condition and productivity. A probiotic compound, made from five bacteria isolated from adult bovine cattle, was dosed to 15 Holstein newborn calves in order to measure its capacity of improving body weight gain and reduce diarrhea incidence. The test was performed in the municipality of Cajicá (Colombia), at 2580 m.a.s.l., throughout rainy season, with environmental temperature that oscillated between 4 to 25 °C. Five calves were allotted to control (no addition of probiotic). Treatments 1, and 2 (5 calves per group) received 10 ml Probiotic mix 1 and 2, respectively. Probiotic mixes 1 and 2 where similar in microbial composition but different in production process. Probiotics were added to the morning milk and dosed on a daily basis by a month and then on a weekly basis for three additional months. Diarrhea incidence was measured by observance of number of animals affected in each group; each animal was weighed up on a daily basis for obtaining weight gain and rumen fluid samples were extracted with oro-esophageal catheter for determining level of fiber and grain consumption.

Keywords: Calve, diarrhea, probiotic, rumen microorganisms.

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