Potential of Biotechnology for Livestock Feed Improvement: A review
Application of recent advancements of biotechnology in recent years allowed the use of non-toxic fungi to improve fibrous feeds like straw or poor quality roughages. In particular, the white rot fungi have been used because of their ability to digest in to usable product of the plant material. In addition, wide variety of feed additives, many of biotechnological origin are known to modify rumen fermentation in ruminant animals. They include components that can reduce methanogenesis, enhance propionic acid production, reduce protein degradation, improve microbial protein synthesis and inhibit protozoa. Among such additives are antibiotics, probiotics and specific substrates like pre-biotics. Moreover, due to advances in biotechnology, more effective enzyme preparations can now be produced in large quantities and relatively inexpensively. Therefore, supplementation of the diet as a means of improving nutritive value is becoming routine. Still another area of application of biotechnology is reduction of less important microbes from rumen and increase feed efficiency of animals. The ultimate goal of using biotechnology in animal nutrition is to improve the plane of nutrition through the use of enzymes to improve the availability of nutrients from feed and to reduce the wastage of the feed.