Levucell live yeast results increase performance and robustness of the dam and newborn lambs

At the 12th International Symposium on Gut Microbiology, Lysiane Dunière, Ph.D., revealed new results showing the effects of feeding live yeast to pre-parturition ewes on the performance and robustness of both the dam and newborn lambs. This effect is mediated through improved quality of the colostrum in terms of immune protection, and better rumen function.

Ewe and lamb 720

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).

Improved colostrum quality

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.

Levucell live yeast ig G concentration chart

The benefits of feeding Levucell live yeast

The benefits for the lambs are two-fold:

  1. Better immune protection through the colostrum, and
  2. Average heavier birth weights (+327 g, on average), due to the improved diet utilisation during late gestation.

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.

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