Direct-fed microbial (DFM) are used in ruminant production for more than 30 yr. Initially, DFM was utilized in young ruminants to accelerate establishment of the intestinal microflora involved in feed digestion and to promote gut health.
Further improvements led to more complex mixtures of direct fed microbialswhich are targeted at preventing ruminal acidosis in older cows and enhancing fiber digestion.
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During these results on fiber digestion/rumen wellbeing, second-generation DFM also has led to progress in milk yield, growth, and feed efficiency of cows, but results are inconsistent.
There’s a new awareness of significance in the growth of successful direct-fed microbial (DFM) to be used in livestock production as concerns over the use of antibiotics in livestock production as well as the demand for pathogen exclusion keep growing.
The Office of Regulatory Affairs of the US Food and Drug Administration and The Association of The American Feed Control Officials have described DFM as feed products which include a source of life or naturally occurring microorganisms.
Direct fed microbes are used from the cattle industry for more than 20 yr, primarily to boost growth performance, milk production, or feed conversion efficiency.
The majority of studies that have attempted to specify possible modes of activity have analyzed the capability of DFM to favorably alter digestion in the rumen, through modulating ruminal acid production, promoting the establishment of desired rumen microbial populations or improving ruminal fiber digestion.