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Direct-Fed Microbial Product As A Supplement For Dairy Cows

Direct feed product (DFM), which the USDA characterized in 1989 as a microbial feed additive with "live" natural microorganisms. It has been used by the livestock industry as a food additive for more than 20 years, mainly to increase milk production, feed efficiency, and productivity. 

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The main types of DFM used in ruminant research include rosemary-derived bacteria that can utilize lactic acids (LUB) such as Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Megasphaera elsdenii, and Selenomonas ruminantium.

Another type of LUB, Propionibacterium, is used as DFM. Although these bacteria are slow-growing and undergo acid reflux so as not to prevent acidosis, it is believed that converting lactate to propionate will improve the energy status of cows.

Active yeast would be the best-studied DFM and is commonly used to increase cattle productivity. Active yeast is believed to extract traces of dissolved oxygen in the intestines, creating the best anaerobic requirements for the growth of fibrinolytic microorganisms.

It is also believed that live yeast creates optimal conditions for bacterial growth by preventing the build-up of lactic acid in the worms.

According to information from various species, LAB is believed to have potential benefits. These benefits may include changes in the gut microbial population, improved digestion of food, and improved immune function.

Additionally, a recent study reported that adding early lactating dairy cows to DFM improved starch digestibility and increased cow productivity.