Effect of feeding Saccharomyces Cerevisiae on performance of dairy cows during summer heat stress
Effects of feeding a culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to lactating cows on their lactational performance during heat stress were determined. Multiparous Holstein cows (n = 723) calving during the summer months from two dairy farms were randomly assigned to a diet containing no yeast culture (control; n = 361) or 30 g/d of a S. cerevisiae yeast culture (YC; n = 362) fed from 20 to 140 d in milk (DIM). Cows were milked twice daily and the production of milk and milk components was measured every 2 weeks. Dry matter (DM) intakes from 6 pens were measured daily and pen temperature and humidity were evaluated hourly from June to November. Rectal temperature was measured in 88 cows (22/treatment/farm), once weekly, and blood was sampled from a subset of 120 cows at 58 and 100 DIM for measurements of plasma glucose, nonesterified fatty acids, 3-OH-butyrate, insulin, and urea N concentrations. Daily temperature, humidity and the temperature-humidity index in the study pens did not differ between treatments, and rectal temperature of cows in the control and YC treatments differed with days postpartum. Intake of DM was similar between diets, but cows fed YC produced 1.2 kg/d more milk, more milk true protein, solids-not-fat and lactose than that produced by control cows. However, energy-corrected milk yield, and concentrations of true protein, solids-not-fat and lactose did not differ between treatments. Feeding YC did not influence plasma metabolites, insulin, or body condition score of cows, but urea N concentrations were reduced. Feeding a yeast culture of S. cerevisiae improved yields of milk and milk components in heat-stressed multiparous Holstein cows.