According to Stephanie Hansen at Iowa State University, probiotic bacteria, such as L. acidophilus, found in yogurt could help keep animals healthy — so farmers don't have to give them as many antibiotics.
"Acidophilus would have the same impact in a production livestock animal as it would in humans," Hansen says. This friendly bacterium likes hanging out in guts — and once it settles into either a human or an animal's gut, it thrives and multiplies, crowding out the other harmful bacteria that live there — which, in turn, can keep you, or a cow, healthy.
Poultry researcher Alejandro Penaloza at Oklahoma State University has a similar idea: He's testing two strains of Lactobacillus in poultry feed. Some large chicken producers are interested, he says, because it helps the birds gain weight with less feed, a benefit they used to get from antibiotics.
While researchers are still investigating the impact probiotics have on livestock, commercial animal feed companies have been marketing Lactobacillus supplements for decades. Livestock producers generally see improvements in weight gains, feed conversion, food intake in young pigs along with improving general health and performance. These healthier pigs require fewer antibiotic treatments.
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COMMENT: Déjà vu, all over again! I remember my uncle feeding sour skim milk, the original source of L. acidophilus, to his pigs over 75 years ago. It is encouraging to see that scientists are finally catching up to knowledge from bygone years.
The probiotic and prebiotic technology used to produce ABC’s products goes back over 50 years. Check it out at www.abcplus.biz!