Aims: Probiotic effects of compost containing thermophiles on productivity have been reported in domestic animals, although not cattle. We evaluated the effects of administering Caldibacillus hisashii, a thermophile contained in compost, on growth, blood components, faecal organic acid concentrations and microbiota population in Japanese black calves. Methods and results: Calves were administered C. hisashii from 3 to 5 months of age. Administering C. hisashii decreased feed intake without affecting body weight, indicating that feed efficiency is improved by administration. Administering C. hisashii decreased plasma insulin concentration without affecting glucose and non-esterified fatty acid concentrations. Chao1 was decreased by exposure at 5 months of age. Similarly, weighted and unweighted UniFrac distances were affected by treatment at 5 months of age. Faecal abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes tended to be increased by exposure. Faecal propionic acid concentration was correlated positively with faecal abundance of phylum Bacteroidetes but negatively with that of Firmicutes. Interestingly, the population of the genus Methanobrevibacter, representing the majority of methanogens, was lowered by exposure and was negatively correlated with faecal propionic acid concentration. Conclusion: Administration of C. hisashii has the potential to improve growth performance of Japanese black calves and to contribute to reducing environmental load, which may be associated with altered endocrine kinetics and gut microbial populations. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study revealed that isolated thermophiles included in compost may exert probiotic effects on calves.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology