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Benefits of yeast culture supplementation for digestion and milk composition in mares

  • J. A. Pickard (a1) and G. Bertin (a2)


Feeding strategies for performance horses generally involves the substitution of one-two thirds of the fibrous feeds (e.g., forages and pastures) with starchy materials, primarily cereal grains. Such strategies can result in enhanced susceptibility to colic or laminitis (Kronfeld and Harris, 1997) which can be reduced through the use of beneficial microbial combinations that increase nutrient availability, modify gut microflora and enhance performance. One source of microbial live populations is a yeast culture Saccharomyces cerevisae (Yea-Sacc 1026; CBS 493.94, Alltech Inc, USA) which has been shown to increase the digestibility of gross energy (GE) and enhance the retention of N in yearling horses (Glade and Biesik, 1986), together with enhanced performance. The aim of this review is to determine the effects of S. cerevisae on the digestibility of nutrients in the mare, and subsequent effects on milk composition, quality and performance of the offspring.


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