The aim was to assess the effect of supplementing mixed forage diets with live yeast on milk yield, locomotion score, lameness and sole bruising in first lactation Holstein Friesian dairy cattle. Heifers (n 34) were divided into two groups according to calving date, breeding value (milk fat and protein yield), live weight, body condition and post-partummilk yield and offered a mixed forage diet of grass, maize and whole crop silage, 17 were offered the mixed diet withthe addition of live yeast (Y), 17 were offered the same mixed forage diet with no additional live yeast (NY). All animals were assessed weekly for milk yield and composition, locomotion score up until 160 days in milk (DIM). Mean milk yield (Y: 29.5, NY: 27.1) and milk solids (Y: 1.98, NY: 1.80 (kg/h/d) were significantly higher with the addition of yeast (P<0.001). Sole lesion score increased significantly at day 160 (50 DIM: 1241 b, 100 DIM: 1295 b, 150 DIM: 1676 a) and of the WL at day 100 pp (50 DIM: 1042 b, 100 DIM: 1448 a, 150 DIM: 1710 a) (P<0.001). The hind outer (HO) claws had significantly higher lesion scoresthan inner claws (sole outer: 340.2, others 149.4 to 184.2; White line Outer: 267.5, others: 168.4 to 228.9) (P<0.001). Heifers offered forage diets with the addition of yeast had significantly lower sole (Y: 1151.5 b, NY: 1645.3 a)(P<0.05) and WL lesions at 160 DIM. The addition of live yeast increased milk yield and reduced lesion and locomotion score in first lactation heifers.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 67, Wanaka, 272-275, 2007
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