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Excell™ Effect on Performance and Volatile Fatty Acid Profile in 600# Pre-weaned Calves

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

University of Georgia: Krause, Ryman, Heins, Lourenco, Callaway, T. Pringle

Excell™, an all-natural a lactobacillus Figure 1

fermentation product from Pacer

Technology has shown improved growth and performance in cattle. Previous studies on rumen volatile fatty acid (VFA) production indicates Excell™ increases total VFA levels and increased energy utilization producing improved growth and weight gain in

growing cattle. The objective of this study was to measure the impact on rumen function and performance of pre-weaned calves offered a creep feed with Excell™ at five grams per head per day compared to creep alone.

Results of Excell™ Inclusion in the Creep

· Excell™ in the creep gained 2.86 lbs. per day compared to 2.78 for calves fed only creep

· Feed efficiency (G:F) on Excell™ calves was 11.2 % better requiring 0.78 lb. less feed for gain

· Excell™ produced 16.2% more total volatile fatty acid (112.18 mM vs. 96.46mM) which produced more gain from improved rumen function

· Excell™ produced more propionate reducing the acetate to propionate ratio from 5.1 to 4.75. This reduced ratio is an indicator of higher energy availability for growth

· Butyrate production was 12% higher with Excell™ which promotes rumen development and health

· Excell™ fed calves produced significantly more volatile fatty acids in the intestine which contributes to immune function and overall animal health

Sixty Angus steers were fed 1 of 3 diets: control (no creep, creep only, and creep plus Excell™ at five grams per day for 63 days. On day 55, rumen samples were taken and analyzed for seven volatile fatty acids. (Table 2.).

Excell™ fed cattle also have overall better health due to its prebiotic benefits on intestinal health by supporting the microbiome (beneficial bacteria) and immune function.

Table 3. shows the effect of Excell™ on increased volatile fatty acid production by the microbiome of the intestine. Research has shown that these short chain fatty acids are important intestinal components for maintaining optimum immune function and overall digestive health.


Calves fed five grams of Excell™ in their creep feed for 63 days produced more gain on less feed from improved rumen function (Table 4.). Not only was total volatile fatty acid production increased by 16.2%, the propionate level was also increased which shifted the acetate to propionate ratio indicating higher available energy for growth. Feed efficiency was improved by the combined effects of both total increased total VFA production and increased propionate production. Excell™ fed calves required 0.5 lbs. less feed to produce additional gain compared to the creep only group.

Excell™ also increased total volatile fatty acid concentration in the fecal material which suggests increased gut fermentation, digestion, and utilization of feed in the digestive tract. Production of additional short chain fatty acids produced from the Excell™ treatment are known to improve gut integrity, microbiome diversity, immune function and over all animal health.

This study indicates Excell™ provides both improved rumen function and intestinal benefits in cattle to support efficient growth, performance and health.

The Next Generation Of Animal Health!

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