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Persistence of orally administered Megasphaera elsdenii and Ruminococcus bromii in the rumen of beef cattle fed a high grain (barley) diet

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Klieve, A. V., McLennan, S. R. and Ouwerkerk, D. (2012) Persistence of orally administered Megasphaera elsdenii and Ruminococcus bromii in the rumen of beef cattle fed a high grain (barley) diet. Animal Production Science, 52 (5). pp. 297-304. ISSN 1836-0939


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN11111


When cattle are fed grain, acidotic ruminal conditions and decreased efficiency in starch utilisation can result from the rapid production and accumulation of lactic acid in the rumen. The efficacy of drenching cattle with Megasphaera elsdenii and Ruminococcus bromii to improve animal performance was investigated. A feedlot trial was undertaken with 80 Bos indicus crossbred steers (initial liveweight 347.1 (s.d. 31.7) kg) in 10 pens in a randomised complete block design. An empty-pen-buffer was maintained between treated (inoculated) and untreated (control) groups to avoid transfer of inoculant bacteria to the control steers. Inoculated steers were orally drenched with M. elsdenii YE34 and R. bromii YE282, and populations increased rapidly over 3-14 days. The steers were fed for a total of 70 days with commercial, barley-based, feedlot rations. High growth rates (1.91 kg per day) were achieved throughout the experiment in both the inoculated and control steers. Intakes averaged 21.3 g dry matter (DM) per kg liveweight per day. There was probably no acidosis achieved in this trial following challenge (i.e. no change in pH occurred). There were no differences in any production or carcass measurements between the control and inoculated steers overall. However, the control group acquired dense ruminal populations of M. elsdenii by Day 14, while R. bromii populations established at high densities within the first 2 weeks but then declined and were undetectable by Day 50. R. bromii appears to be only transiently dominant, and once its dominance waned, it appeared that Ruminobacter spp. established in the rumen. Ruminobacter spp. became dominant between 14 and 28 days in all the steers examined and persisted through to the end of the study. These Ruminobacter spp. may be of future interest in the development of probiotics for grain-fed cattle.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:Klieve, Athol V. McLennan, Stuart R. Ouwerkerk, Diane
Subjects:Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:20 Mar 2014 03:29
Last Modified:15 Jun 2023 06:44

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