Modulating gut health in ruminants
Maintaining gut health is essential for beef and dairy cattle production. Strategies must be developed to modulate the gut in order to optimize animal health and performance.
Due to customer demands, producers have been asked to change the way they raise production animals. In order to maintain feed efficiency, growth rate and production standards, producers now seek to better understand the factors contributing to gut health . Historically, the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, was considered an organ solely equipped for the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
The gut harbors the largest population of immune cells in the body as well as the commensal bacteria that outnumber the entire host cells.1 There is a general consensus that a healthy gut leads to a healthy animal with optimal performance. Understanding the interactions between these interrelated components of the gut is what cumulatively makes the gut the basis for the health and productivity of beef and dairy cattle….