Why is poor hindgut health a problem?
Leaky gut is the inability of the gut barrier to prevent unwanted toxins and pathogens from leaking into the bloodstream. In dairy cattle, leaky gut can occur due to numerous stress situations: Transition Period, Feed Restrictions, Psychological stress, High Starch Diets, Inflammation elsewhere in the animal (Injury, Disease etc).
As a result, an immune response occurs which diverts energy (glucose) away from production leading to reduced yields alongside higher costs per litre. Due to less energy now available, a leaky gut may also be the hidden cause of many typical and costly on-farm problems. While difficult to diagnose, leaky gut often results in drops in yield, butterfat and milk protein, as well as reduced fertility, heat stress, and loose muck.
The Solution: Selko Lactibute
Lactibute is a patented novel prebiotic that works to reduce the effects of leaky gut, improve energy partitioning within dairy cows and ultimately support milk production and performance. As an encapsulated calcium gluconate, Lactibute will reach the hindgut to:
- Work to support and alter the gut microbe population
- Increase short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) utilising bacteria
- Promote butyrate production:
- Butryrate is an essential volatile fatty acid (VFA) that acts as an energy source
- Reduce inflammation in the hindgut
- Stop pathogenic bacteria
- Strengthen gut barrier
Lactibute on farm
A healthy intestine is more efficient at absorbing nutrients. Results from trials and studies with 4,715 lactating dairy cows have shown that this, in combination with less energy being diverted to inflammation, meaning cows fed Lactibute have higher levels of milk constituents and energy corrected milk (Table 1).
Heat stress also promotes a leaky guy, and in the run-up to summer, strategies to mitigate the costs of heat stress should be implemented proactively to prepare the cow. Trouw Nutrition conducted a trial in Italy where 70% of milk produced is destined for cheese production, meaning milk contracts are heavily focused on constituents. The results (Figure 1) show that Lactibute maintained milk constituents and also milk yield. Of note is that milk fat remained above 3.7% in 2021 whereas in 2020 it fell throughout the hot periods when temperature humidity indexes were highest.
A study trialled by NWF showed Lactibute improved other performance indicators within the herd, despite cows being identified as under high stress due to dietary and management changes throughout the trial period. Overall, Lactibute supported the cows in times of stress, indicating better energy partitioning and availability of energy for reproductive functions alongside reaching higher peak yields quicker (Table 2 below).
To discuss the inclusion of Lactibute within your dairy ration, please speak to your NWF Sales Specialist.