Two experiments, each with a randomized complete block design, were conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus plus Propionibacterium freudenreichii on performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle. British and British x Continental steers (240 steers in each experiment; 12 pens/treatment in each study; average initial BW = 370 ± 6 kg) were fed a 92% concentrate diet based primarily on steam-flaked corn. Four treatments were evaluated, which included a control diet (lactose carrier only) or diets containing 1 × 109 cfu/(steer·d) of P. freudenreichii (strain NP 24) with 1 × 10 7 (L), 1 × 108 (M), or 1 × 109 (H) cfu of L. acidophilus strain NP 51/(steer·d). Data were pooled for the 2 experiments. No differences (P > 0.10) were detected among treatments for final BW, final BW based on HCW, or DMI during various stages of the feeding period or overall. Likewise, no differences among treatments were observed for either ADG or carcass-adjusted ADG (P > 0.10), except for the tendency for a quadratic effect of NP 51 dose for the overall feeding period (P = 0.10), in which cattle fed M had a lower ADG than those fed L and H. Gain efficiency on a live BW basis was improved (P = 0.02) by NP 51 treatments compared with the control, with G:F responding quadratically to NP 51 dose for the overall feeding period (P = 0.05). In contrast to G:F based on live BW, carcass-adjusted G:F tended (P = 0.14) to decrease linearly with increasing NP 51 dose because the dressing percent tended (P = 0.12) to be less for steers fed direct-fed microbial compared with control cattle. Within the direct-fed microbial treatments, there also was a tendency (P = 0.13) for a linear decrease in the dressing percent as the NP 51 dose increased. No differences were observed in other carcass characteristics (P > 0.10), except tendencies for a quadratic increase in marbling score (P = 0.11) and percentage of USDA Choice cattle (P = 0.10). These data indicate that live cultures of L. acidophilus strain NP 51 plus P. freudenreichii strain NP 24 increased G:F of feedlot cattle fed steam-flaked corn-based diets by approximately 2%, but the effects depended on the dose of Lactobacillus.
- Beef cattle
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Propionibacterium freudenreichii