Research reported in the January issue of the Journal of Dairy Science shows that transition cows fed direct-fed microbials (DPMs) ate more feed and produced more milk.

In the study, researchers compared four groups of transition cows: those fed DFMs before and after calving, those fed DFMs before calving only, those fed DFMs after calving only, and non-supplemented cows.

The cows were supplemented with a direct-fed microbial product containing, yeast and two strains of the bacteria Enterococcus faecium beginning at 21 days prepartum through 70 days postpartum. Other than the DFM supplementation, all of the cows received the same prepartum ration and lactating ration.

The researchers measured dry matter intake, milk production, percent milk fat, percent protein, and several blood parameters, including glucose and insulin levels. The research was conducted by Elliott Block, of McGill University in Canada, in conjunction with Chr. Hansen BioSystems, Milwaukee, Wis.

The chart below shows the results: