• Growth Performance of Holstein Dairy Calves Supplemented with a Probiotic

      Windschitl, Paul M.; Randall, Kirsten M.; Brainard, Donald J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1991-04)
      Administration of antibiotics in both therapeutic and sub-therapeutic doses has been the standard practice for dealing with pathogenic bacteria problems in farm animals since the 1940s. Several types of antibiotics are currently used to promote weight gain and feed efficiency in domestic livestock. There is growing concern that the use of antibiotics as growth promoters may result in the development of resistant populations of pathogenic bacteria and, in turn, influence the therapeutic use of antibiotics. The indiscriminate and improper use of antibiotics in food-producing animals could result in the presence of residues in milk, meat, and other animal food products consumed by humans. One possible alternative to antibiotics is the use of probiotics. Probiotics can be defined as “live microbial feed supplements which beneficially affect the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance” (Fuller, 1989). Probiotics introduce beneficial microorganisms into the gut which act to maintain optimal conditions within the gastrointestinal tract and inhibit the growth of pathogenic or other undesirable bacteria.