Scientific and practical aspects of the use of prebiotics in the process of feeding ruminants

  • S. O. Vovk Institute of Agriculture of the Carpathian region of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, Obroshyno, Ukraine
  • I. V. Polovyi Institute of Agriculture of the Carpathian region of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, Obroshyno, Ukraine
Keywords: prebiotics, ruminants, feeding, metabolic and productive action.


The review article presents current literature data on the classification of prebiotics. Information on the characteristics of the most common and used in the feeding of ruminants prebiotic drugs is presented. Based on literature, attention is drawn to the fact that one of the main functions of mannan oligosaccharides is their competitive binding to gram-negative bacteria of the pancreas and cecum in ruminants and inhibition of pathogenic microbiota growth in these departments of gastrointestinal tract. Fructooligosaccharides are not digested by animals, starting from the oral cavity and ending with the intestines. They are readily available substrates for the microflora of the ruminant pancreas and large intestine of animals. As for galactosyloligosaccharides, experiments have convincingly proven that they stimulate the growth and development of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, enterobacteria and streptococci in the digestive tract of animals. Lactulose and lactiol as prebiotics have a positive effect on feed intake in young animals, changing the microbial balance and biochemical composition of the contents of the cecum. These prebiotics promote the reproduction of gram-positive bacteria in the digestive tract of animals and inhibit the growth and development of clostridia. Lactulose and lactiol activate the formation of short-chain fatty acids by the microbiota of the cecum of animals, as well as increase the permeability of the intestinal mucosa and the solubility of minerals in the colon. High molecular weight beta-glucans enhance the phagocytic, cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity of macrophages. They help to produce reactive intermediates of oxygen and nitrogen and clean the tissues of apoptotic cells. Furthermore, stimulating innate immune responses, beta-glucans increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Inulin in ruminants has a pronounced activating effect on the immune system, as well as activates the production of short-chain fatty acids in the pancreas and large intestine. The biological mechanism of action in the digestive tract of ruminants of such prebiotics as: mannan oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, lactulose, lactiol, beta-glucans, inulin is described. The productive effect of prebiotics when using their additives in the diets of young and adult ruminants is characterized. It is shown that the use of the above prebiotic drugs in the feeding of ruminant species selectively stimulates the metabolic processes of the symbiotic microflora of the pancreas and cecum, activates their vital functions and growth. The use of prebiotic supplements in the diets of cows stimulates milk productivity and improves milk quality. In fattening cattle, the stabilization of the pH of the scar content through the use of prebiotics increases the average daily gain and live weight of animals and the efficiency of assimilation of nutrients in feed.


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Vovk, S., & Polovyi, I. (2020). Scientific and practical aspects of the use of prebiotics in the process of feeding ruminants. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Agricultural Sciences, 22(92), 9-14.