What is the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Herd and heard. Meet and meat. There, their, they’re. So many words sound similar in our language, and yet have very different meanings. The same is true when it comes to keeping your cattle healthy, eating and growing. Probiotic and prebiotic. Just one letter different, and yet these two supplements have very different uses in keeping cattle healthy and gaining.

Despite the similarity in their names, prebiotics and probiotics are not two different forms of a similar supplement. They are two completely different forms of supplements. To be considered a probiotic, the bacteria included in the supplement must be alive when administered. This life adds “good” microbes and bacteria to the animal. One caution about probiotics is that this “life” can become death with the heat, the cold or other environmental challenges for the product; therefore, causing the probiotic to be ineffective.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not alive but rather work to enhance the naturally occurring growth and benefits of the good microbes. Probiotics add microbes, whereas prebiotics multiply good microbes. It does no good to feed probiotics unless they are nourished and placed in an environment where they can flourish.

Amaferm® is a natural prebiotic that is designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. It is research-proven to promote calf health and vigor, and stimulate digestion and nutrient uptake of forage for optimum gain.

“The Amaferm found in Gain Smart™ promotes intake, increases digestibility and maximizes nutrient absorption,” said Twig Marston, Technical Sales Field Manager at BioZyme® Inc.

Producers want their animals to convert their feed to pounds of gain in an efficient manner. Numerous university trials have shown that Amaferm may have its greatest effect on feed efficiency, resulting in a 6.4% improvement in feed efficiency in beef cattle.

Gain Smart, a supplement program developed to promote general health and gain in backgrounding and yearling cattle, offers four options for producers – all with the Amaferm advantage.

  • Gain Smart Stocker is ideally suited for cattle on grass.
  • Gain Smart Wheat is best for cattle grazing wheat or small grain pastures.
  • Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600 contains a nutrient package specifically designed to balance high grain diets.

Amaferm is a powerful prebiotic found in Gain Smart and all of the BioZyme® products. Remember, probiotics add the good bacteria to the rumen and the prebiotics grow the good bacteria. Although it is important to have both probiotics and prebiotics in your cattle diets, it is important to know the difference and realize how the two work together.

 

 

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