In addition to microbial preparations and fermentation extracts, there is an increasing interest in the use of concentrated enzyme products in ruminants. The majority of commercial products are extracted from Trichoderma spp, although products from other fungal or bacterial species have been reported. Production responses have been reported in both beef and dairy cattle, with an average increase in milk yield of 4% over 16 published trials, but responses are highly variable, possibly reflecting both differences in the products and the diets fed. Enzymes are added to supplement fibrolytic activity in the rumen, stimulating dry matter degradation and thus, indirectly, microbial numbers. Effects are thought to be both preingestive and in intraruminal. Free enzymes can survive in an active form for a surprising length of time, but there is evidence to suggest that the products are more effective if they are allowed time to form a stable enzyme feed association prior to feeding.
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