The study objective was to determine the effects of Bacillus subtilis PB6 and/ or chromium propionate supplementation on serum chemistry, complete blood count, and fecal Salmonella spp. count in high-risk beef cattle during a 56-d feedlot receiving period and the subsequent finishing period. Four truckload blocks of crossbred beef bulls (n = 300) and steers [n = 84; total n = 384; average initial body weight (BW) = 220 ± 16.2 kg] were sourced from regional auction markets and assigned randomly to treatments arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial. Blood samples were collected from two bulls nearest to the median BW on arrival in each pen (n = 96) and fecal samples were collected from cattle in block 3 (n = 96). The generalized complete block design consisted of 12 pen replications per treatment with pen as the experimental unit. Treatments were: 1) negative control (CON); 2) 13 g per animal daily of prepared B. subtilis PB6 product (CST); 3) 450 ppb dry matter (DM) chromium propionate (CHR); and 4) 13 g per animal daily of prepared B. subtilis PB6 product and 450 ppb DM chromium propionate (CST + CHR). Treatments were top dressed in feed bunks daily using 0.45 kg per animal ground corn carrier immediately following feed delivery. Data were analyzed using mixed models with repeated measures. Day affected all serum chemistry variables (P ≤ 0.03) except total CO2 (P = 0.34) and all complete blood count variables during receiving (P ≤ 0.02) except percentage basophils (P ≥ 0.12). During the overall receiving period, serum calcium was decreased (P = 0.02) by CHR. Cattle fed CHR had greater total leukocyte count (P = 0.04) and neutrophil count (P = 0.02) during the overall receiving period. Fecal Salmonella spp. count was markedly reduced in cattle fed CST on day 28 (P = 0.01) and overall (P = 0.07). Overall, these data provide metabolic and hematologic insight into the unique challenges presented by lightweight, high-risk feeder cattle. Notably, CST was found to be effective in mitigating fecal enumeration and presumably replication of Salmonella spp. in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Bacillus subtilis
- Chromium propionate