Blog | Reading Time 2 minutes

How can postbiotics support lower gut health in calves?

How can postbiotics support lower gut health in calves?

Calf health management is crucial and will influence the performance of the adult cow. In preruminants, particular attention should be drawn to the establishment of the digestive system and its inhabitants, the microbiota. This is the time when the digestive tract undergoes significant and extensive changes, evolving from its initial monogastric function towards a ruminant function with microbiota in the rumen and the lower gut. Feeding and balancing the microbiota with pre and probiotics during this delicate time can help ensure future health and performance.

Weaning: A stressful event for the calf and its digestive tract

During early life, while immunity is still weak (Figure 1), calves experience a lot of external stressors: transportation, transition from liquid to solid feed, dehorning, etc.

Figure 1: The immunity gap in calves from birth to weaning

All these stressors increase the risk of morbidity and mortality by making the immune system more vulnerable. This can lead to visible signs of poor immune defenses such as digestive and respiratory diseases.

The power of postbiotics

In this context, there are two types of solutions that can be applied: post and prebiotics (such as yeast derivatives) and live microorganisms such as a specific live yeast dedicated to gut health to focus its action on the calf gut.

The yeast derivative YANG — which includes specifically selected yeast fractions (postbiotics) — has been proven to help maintain the health of calves and other young ruminants.

YANG is a multi-strain yeast derivative formulated to strengthen animals’ natural defenses with a patented, synergistic effect on the immune response.

Observations and samples from calves made through endoscopy shows that (Figure 2) calves fed YANG during the pre-weaning period show a pro-anti-inflammatory ratio compared to a control group.

Figure 2: Interleukins gene expressions coming from gut samples of preweaned calves


In calves, the first months of life are critical for future production. Nutrition management is key to limiting the impact of early stresses on the digestive system and ensuring optimal rumen development. In addition to good management practices, producers can include beneficial nutritional tools such as innovative yeast fraction, YANG, to help maintain calf health, support starter intake and reinforce rumen papillae development for optimal adult performance.

Published Apr 16, 2024