At the Smart Calf Rearing Conference in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Lallemand Animal Nutrition's team recently shared a study about the benefits of YANG - a product described as a "specific yeast fractions combination" - in rearing dairy calves during pre-weaning.
Overall, growth performance and the health status of the neonates was improved, leading to a significant reduction of veterinary treatments.
Clothilde Villot, research scientist at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, who presented the study, explained: "High morbidity and mortality rates of calves during the pre-weaning period dramatically impact the sustainability of farms. The objective of this trial, conducted in partnership with University of Lublin, was to evaluate the efficacy of our specific association of yeast fractions (YANG) to support calf growth and health status in the pre-weaning period.
"The study showed the improvement of the overall health and early growth of pre-weaned calves when they received YANG in milk replacer. Consequently, less therapeutic treatments were needed. These benefits could be explained by an enrichment of the beneficial gut microbiota of supplemented calves."
The trial in question was performed in a commercial dairy farm in Poland on 30 Holstein calves. The calves received either a control milk replacer or milk replacer supplemented with YANG from five to 65 days of life.
Based on results from the trial, no calves in the YANG group experienced respiratory diseases whereas 50% of the non-supplemented calves had respiratory problems (P=0.034). There was also a reduction of the number and duration of diarrhea cases.
Consequently, an improved fecal score was reported for the YANG group throughout the trial. As a result, the average number of therapeutic treatments was reduced.
In terms of improved growth performance, average daily gain (ADG) was better in the early days of the trial, giving calves a better start.
The benefits of the specific association of yeast fractions can be linked to its effects at the microbiota level. When the researchers looked at the calves' fecal microbiota, they found an increase in beneficial bacteria populations such as milk-associated bacteria Bifidobacteria or Lactobacillus and Akkermansia, which is associated with the stimulation of mucine production and immune system regulation. This could positively influence milk metabolism and reinforce the calves' natural defenses.
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