Effect of Feeding Yeast Culture from Different Sources on the Performance of Lactating Holstein Cows in Saudi Arabia

  • Alshaikh, M.A. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, King Saud University) ;
  • Alsiadi, M.Y. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, King Saud University) ;
  • Zahran, S.M. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, King Saud University) ;
  • Mogawer, H.H. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, King Saud University) ;
  • Aalshowime, T.A. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, King Saud University)
  • Received : 2001.03.08
  • Accepted : 2001.09.28
  • Published : 2002.03.01


One hundred-fifty lactating, multiparous cow at post-peak of lactation were used to examine the effect of dietary yeast supplementation on milk production, milk composition and ruminal fermentation. The cows were randomly allocated to three groups of fifty cows each: a control group fed on a basal diet without yeast supplementation and two groups fed on basal diets supplemented with one of two commercial sources of yeast cultures, given at the rates of 15 g/head/d ($YC_1$) and 50 g/head/d ($YC_2$), respectively, as per manufacturers' recommendation. Daily milk production was recorded for all cows, while milk samples were taken randomly from ten cows per group for two consecutive days at two-week intervals for chemical analysis of the milk. Rumen fluids were also analyzed for ammonia nitrogen and volatile fatty acids. The results indicated that cows consuming diets supplemented with yeast culture tended to decrease their dry matter intake and to increase their milk yield. Cows fed $YC_2$ supplemented diet produced more milk and 4% fat corrected milk than those fed either $YC_1$-supplemented diet or the control. The highest milk fat percentage was obtained in cows fed $YC_2$ supplemented diet while the highest percentages of protein, lactose, total solids and solids not fat were recorded in cows fed $YC_1$. Rumen ammonia nitrogen concentration decreased significantly after yeast culture supplementation. Molar proportion of volatile fatty acids did not change significantly with yeast supplementation.



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