This ambitious research project on the link between rumen function and maternal performance was conducted between Lallemand and the Université Clermont Auvergne and INRAE, UMR 454 MEDIS, in Clermont Ferrand.
In this study, the live yeast supplementation effect was evaluated during the last month of gestation. Two groups of gestating ewes were fed either a control diet or a ration supplemented with the live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 (Levucell SC).
The live yeast supplemented ewes showed significantly higher IgG concentrations in their colostrum when compared to the control group, which ensures improved immune transfer to the lambs. Indeed, the newborn from the supplemented dam showed higher IgG levels in their blood at birth and at one week of age (Figure 1).
In addition, there was a higher concentration of the bioactive antimicrobial molecules lactoferrin and sialic acids in the colostrum, which could also benefit the newborn robustness and digestive system development.
The benefits for the lambs are two-fold:
In conclusion, feeding live yeast to gestating ruminants supports fibrolytic populations in the rumen and helps extract more energy from the diet. This improvement of rumen function is associated with better immunity transfer and robustness of the lambs.