Direct fed microbials is a potential and living microorganism, such as bacteria or yeast, which is most often included in poultry feed. DFM is also known as a probiotic.
Direct feeding microbial microorganisms (DFMs) have been shown to increase daily growth and efficiency of animal feed, increase milk production in dairy cows, and improve the health and function of calves.
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Bacteria used as DFM are defined as mixed cultures of living organisms that have a positive effect on the host when fed to animals.
Recently, however, there has been evidence that bacterial DFM may have beneficial effects on rumen, such as reducing the likelihood of rumen acidosis.
In several experiments it has been shown that supplementing cow forage with lactate-producing and/or lactate-producing bacteria increases feed efficiency and daily gain (about 2.5 percent).
Probiotics, or DFMs, work by delivering large numbers of beneficial bacteria to a host that can occupy adhesion sites in the digestive tract and thereby prevent the colonization of unwanted inhabitants.
Apart from producing antimicrobial compounds that directly inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, beneficial bacteria can also compete with other types of bacteria such as nutrients.
Overall, statistics show that DFM can reduce rumen acidosis in cattle and dairy cows and increase the immune response in stressed calves. Further research is needed to describe how it works and thereby increase the effectiveness of DFM.