Specific micro-encapsulated blends of plant extracts naturally occurring in cinnamon, cloves and chilli pepper extracts have been shown to have beneficial effects in beef cattle, research from Pancosma showed.
Phytogenics additives are more and more accepted as efficient solutions to improve feed efficiency. To reach higher feed efficiency by improving genetics is relatively limited today whereas herd management and special feeding strategies still have big potentials of improvement. Plant extracts now represent one of the most profitable, fastest and safest solutions to increase productivity of the dairy herd but also of the beef cattle.
Swiss company Pancosma has developed a product, consisting of specific micro-encapsulated blends of extracts from cloves and cinnamon (Xtract). In beef cattle, the main effects of this blend is related to an improvement of the daily weight gain but also the feed efficiency.
A meta-analysis combining 15 trials and more than 980 growing beef cattle in United States reported than without affecting the beef dry matter intake, the plant extract blends was able to increase final body weight at slaughter. Complementary studies also reported an improvement of the carcass quality with an increase of the hot carcass weight (+5%) and more important longissimus muscle weight (+ 5.8%).
In dairy cattle, the results consisted of improved milk yield without affecting the protein or the fat contents. Hence, an improvement of the feed efficiency (reported as Milk to Feed ratio) of + 8% was reported. A difference was also noted on Somatic cell counts.
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