Effects of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) supplementation on intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation and milk yield in Nili-Ravi buffaloes

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Division of Animal Nutrition, Animal Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad-45500, Pakistan

2 Ph.D. Scholar in Animal Nutrition, Division of Animal Nutrition, Animal Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad-45500, Pakistan

3 MSc Student in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, Division of Animal Nutrition, Animal Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad-45500, Pakistan


Rumen Yeast® (RY; Saccharomyces cerevisiae), a live yeast strain, improves milk yield and composition and nutrients digestibility through balancing rumen ecosystem and increasing ruminal cellulolytic bacteria numbers in cattle. To examine the effects of dietary supplementation of RY in Nili-Ravi buffaloes, 16 buffaloes with 8 L average daily milk production were randomly divided into two groups, and investigated for a 60-day period. Group I (control) was offered maize silage ad libitum as sole forage plus 3 kg of concentrate/head per day (16% crude protein (CP) and 72% total digestible nutrients (TDN)), while group II was given the same diet as  control supplemented with RY (14 g/head per day). Feed intake, nutrient digestibility, rumen fermentation and milk production of each animal were recorded. Average dry matter (DM) intake was not affected (P>0.05) in buffaloes with or without RY (14.7 and 14.3 kg/day, respectively). Digestibility of DM, CP, and ruminal pH were similar (P>0.05) between the groups, but the digestibility coefficients of neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber were greater (P<0.05) for the animals that received RY. Milk production (9.60 vs. 9.15 L/day) and 4% fat corrected milk (FCM) (11.32 vs. 11.85 L/day) were significantly (P<0.05) greater in the buffaloes fed with RY than the control group. Milk composition was similar between the experimental groups, however, milk somatic cell count (SCC) was significantly (P<0.01) lower in RY supplemented buffaloes than the control animals. In conclusion, feeding RY had positive effects on milk production, fibre digestibility and SCC in buffaloes fed maize silage-concentrate based diet.


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