The effect of synbiotic inulin and enterococcus bacteria on digestive health and weight gain in calves
Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, K. Helmaņa street 8, LV-3004 Jelgava, Latvia
The aim of study was to investigate the effect of a synbiotic containing Enterococcus bacteria and 3 different concentrations of inulin on the performance and health status of calves. Forty randomly selected healthy male Holstein crossbreed calves 23 (+/- 5) days old and weighing 50 kg (+/- 5 kg) were randomly allocated to 4 groups: control group (CoG n = 10) fed only whole milk, and 3 synbiotic supplemented groups: 1) SynG6 n = 10, 2) SynG12 n = 10, 3) SynG24 n = 10, in which calves received various amounts of prebiotic inulin (artichoke powder 6 g, 12 g, and 24 g) with 0.25 g of the probiotic Enterococcus faecium (2×109 CFU g-1). At the end of this study all three synbiotic group weight gains were significantly greater than the control group (p < 0.01). SynG12 (12 g artichoke powder) group’s weight gain was significantly greater than control and the 6 g and 24 g synbiotic groups (p < 0.05). The average cold carcass weight results were similar to the live weight results: SynG12 was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than SynG6 and SynG24. Supplementing feedings with this combination of the synbiotic containing 6 g of inulin (produce in Latvia) mixed with Enterococcus (Protexin, UK) bacteria (SynG12) was most effective in achieving the greatest daily weight gain and cold carcass weight.