New probiotic invention reduces over-dependence on antibiotics in cattle

KENYA – The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), has created an enhanced probiotic which boosts livestock production by up to 30%, improves animal health, decreases reliance on antibiotics, and reduces methane gas emission in dairy cattle.

According to Willis Adero, the project’s principal investigator preliminary KALRO trials in Naivasha revealed a 20-33 percent milk increase in cattle where KALPRO was introduced to their diets depending on the cow’s breed. 

“Commercial beef producers in Oljororok and pig farmers in Kikuyu observed a similar percentage increase in weight with swine attaining weight in 75 percent of the required time,” he said.

Probiotics are made of healthy living bacteria or yeast that exist naturally in the human body.

They are frequently employed in industrial animal production to change the gut flora in ways that benefit the animals’ productivity and health.

The major outcomes of using probiotics include growth improvements, a decline in mortality, and an increase in feed conversion efficiency.

KALPRO raises animal production by facilitating vitamin, mineral, and amino acid breakdown and absorption via intestinal walls.

Furthermore, it lessens the overuse of antibiotics, which is one of the major challenges facing both the food system and public health.

The agricultural sector accounts for two-thirds of the growth in antimicrobial use worldwide.

As a result, bacterial clones and resistance genes spread, mortality and morbidity go up, and the cost of treating illnesses and infections that wouldn’t have happened otherwise also goes up.

“Probiotics boost the immune system enabling animals better counteract diseases and pests,” Willis said.

The liquid probiotic is administered orally through drenching, drinking water, or feed. 

“We advise farmers to add KALPRO to water as it is the most efficient and effective method of administration,” he explained.

The dosage for each animal should be 30 milliliters per week. 

“Ideally, dairy cows and bulls ought to consume 15ml twice a week; heifers, hogs, and swine should be given 10ml and piglets 5ml. However, given that probiotics are naturally occurring, overfeeding has no negative consequences. It can also be fed at any stage of the animal’s life. Farmers should however be consistent in their use of KALPRO to realize its promised benefits,” explained KALRO research assistant Ian Alusa. 

By converting the noxious gas into water and carbon dioxide, the product also lowers methane gas emissions by roughly 25–30% per individual cow (CO2).

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas produced by cattle dung and gastroenteric releases, makes up around 32% of all human-caused methane emissions.

The demand for animal protein is predicted to rise by up to 70% by 2050 as a result of record population growth, economic expansion, and urban migration as well as the approaching 10 billion mark for the world’s population, records Farmbiz Africa.

“Although we have not yet published a full report on the impact of KALPRO on livestock, the preliminary findings have been positive, a sentiment shared by the farmers we are working with across Kenya,” said Adero.

KALPRO is sold by KALRO Kabete and costs ksh600 (U.S$ 4.83) per liter, though bulk buyers may be able to negotiate a lower price.

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