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Quantitative analysis of the effect of bacterial probiotics on rumen fermentations and performances in dairy and beef cattle

INRA Prod Anim 25(4) 351-360


1 INRA, UMR1213 Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
2 Clermont Université, VetAgro Sup, UMR Herbivores, BP 10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
3 Danisco France SAS, Zone d'Activités de Buxières, BP 10, F-86220 Dangé Saint Romain, France
4 Danisco France SAS, 20 rue Brunel, F-75017 Paris, France


Subacute ruminal acidosis is a major concern in nutrition of high-producing ruminants. Its prevention by supplementing diets with probiotic bacteria (PB) is a potentially effective strategy that should be considered in light of the ability of probiotics to positively modulate the ruminal flora and fermentations. A meta-analysis of 33 experiments (82 treatments) was made to highlight the effect of PB, used alone or associated with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (PB + SC), on ruminal parameters and animal performance of dairy and beef cattle. Although in beef cattle supplementation with PB or with PB + SC did not affect the average animal perfor-mance, in dairy cows, supplementation with PB + SC increased intake (+ 1.7 kg/day) and milk production (+ 2.36 kg/day) without affecting milk composition. The effect of probiotics on ruminal fermentations was inconsistent and relatively weak. However, for low initial mean pH values ​​(pH < 5.75), supplementation with PB alone or PB + SC significantly increased the pH. Finally, although not included in the statistical model because of limited data, animal responses also appear to depend on the type of PB used.

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