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Role Of Direct Fed Microbials

The idea of Direct Fed Microbial (DFM) entails the feeding of microbes that are beneficial to milk cows when they are under times of stress (disease, ration changes, environmental challenges). 

Probiotics are just another term for this particular type of feed additives.  DFM has been shown to enhance animal performance in controlled research studies. To get more information about  direct fed microbials visit


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The proposed mechanisms for advancement in dairy cattle performance when ingesting DFM are summarized below.

-Produce of antibacterial compounds 

-Compete against undesirable organisms for digestive system nutrients and/or colonization

-Create nutrients or other development factors

-Stimulate the creation of enzymes and/or stimulate the growth of natural bacteria

-Metabolize or neutralize undesirable compounds (such as lactic acid, mycotoxins, etc.)

-Stimulate the immune system

Several researchers have reported positive animal performance when employing a combination of several microbes. Many bacterial species. For example, acidophilus, lactobacillus produces lactic acid that may lower the pH from the intestine thereby inhibiting the growth of undesirable microbes. 

Calves that have been stressed (i.e. weaning, scouring, and transport challenges) have reacted quite favorably to large doses of enterococcus, bifidobacterium, bacillus, and lactobacillus.

Propionibacteria convert lactic acid and glucose into acetic and propionic acids, potentially enhancing the energy status of early lactation cows.

Similar results have been demonstrated through improved feed efficiency in beef cattle. Some species of bacteria may reduce/detoxify nitrates in rations.