The use of antibiotics and other growth-promoting agents in animal feed has been a common practice in the animal industry for many years.
However, concerns about the potential risks associated with these agents have led to increased interest in alternative approaches, such as the use of probiotics. This research evaluated the potential benefits associated with the use of microencapsulated probiotics in feed salt for beef cattle compared to the commonly used ionophore antibiotic, monensin sodium. The results of the in vitro test showed that the microencapsulated probiotic treatment led to higher degradability of several dietary components, including dry matter (11% higher) and organic matter (8% higher).
An in vivo test was performed on 270 animals on different farms, revealing a higher daily weight gain (115 g/day/animal) in animals fed the microencapsulated probiotics over the monensin sodium treatment. Significant differences in body weight gain among the diets were found using Monte Carlo simulation, which allows us to infer that the diets with a better feed conversion index offered a better gross margin.
Overall, the use of microencapsulated probiotics in feed salt for beef cattle shows promise as a potential alternative to monensin sodium.
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