The key to success in feeding ruminants is to adequately provide for the rumen and its highly complex communities of microorganisms. The ideal composition and great diversity in the rumen microbiome are determining factors in optimal rumen fermentation and ruminant performance. Maintaining this diversity in feeding for performance is a major challenge, especially in the case of dairy cows.
High-starch feeding decreases the ruminal pH, adversely affects the rumen microbiome and promotes fermentation disorders such as subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA), leading to reduced performance and a number of secondary illnesses. This is why ruminal bacteria play a key role in performance and animal health.
Anta®Phyt promotes the rumen microbiome, despite high-starch feeding
A study investigated the extent to which the phytogenic feed additive Anta®Phyt affects the rumen microbiome of heifers. For this purpose, the heifers were fed a high-starch diet, which induces SARA. The heifers (initial weight: 556 kg) were divided into two groups: the TMR of one group included Anta®Phyt while that of the control group contained no feed additive.
Analysis of the rumen showed that Anta®Phyt significantly increased microbial diversity and richness in comparison to the control group (Figure 1). The number of observed species and Fisher’s alpha (P < 0.10), Chao1 and ACE indices (P < 0.05) all increased. This could be due to Anta®Phyt stimulating microbial competition. An accompanying study also showed that the ruminal pH increased with Anta®Phyt, significantly improving the rumen microbiome environment despite high-starch feeding.
Figure 1: Effect of Anta®Phyt on diversity and richness of the rumen microbiome
A strong rumen thanks to Anta®Phyt
As the results show, Anta®Phyt significantly increases diversity in the rumen microbiome and improves its environment, even when the feeding induces SARA. This is why Anta®Phyt is perfectly suitable for promoting rumen health and helping cows in challenging times such as when changing the feed or using concentrated feed.