The pre-weaning growth of a dairy calf is a powerful predictor of long-term productivity and profitability. However, diarrhea is one of the most common antagonists resulting in poor digestion and less than optimal weight gain in calves.
A unique product derived from a selected strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been shown to enhance performance, including intake, growth and overall health, by improving gut health and digestive function.
A recent meta-analysis conducted by Dr. Anna Catharina Berge of Berge Veterinary Consulting BVBA has put Alltech’s product, Bio-Mos®, to the test.
Berge’s trials revealed that pre-weaned dairy calves fed Bio-Mos in milk or milk replacer had significantly improved average daily gain by an estimated 0.14 pounds per head per day, which corresponds to an 8.37-pound higher weight on average for calves weaned at two months of age. The long-term improved performance in heifers with enhanced pre-weaning growth would be equivalent to 220 pounds more milk in the first lactation!
“The results are a significant improvement in average daily weight gain,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. “This improvement leads to greater returns for the producer through enhanced milk production, health and development, and long-term productivity.”
The meta-analysis included 23 cohort studies performed in the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Peru, Poland, Spain and Turkey between 1993 and 2012. Bio-Mos was supplemented from 2–10 grams per day, with an average inclusion of 3.8 grams per day. Twenty-one of the studies reported an increase in daily weight gain for calves fed Bio-Mos in milk or milk replacer compared to control calves.
As new restrictions come into play on antibiotic use, producers across the globe are beginning to take a closer look at natural approaches to improve animal health and performance. Choosing an alternative that is backed by substantial research is a sure bet for a smart start on any dairy operation.
For more information on Bio-Mos, visit http://go.alltech.com/bio-mos.