At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), 63 crossbred Boer goats were used in five separate experiments to determine the effects of a commercial probiotic supplement on growth performance, diet digestibility, carcass traits, and fecal bacterial populations.
A probiotic is a nutritional supplement that contains live, active bacteria that are purported to improve immune and gastrointestinal function
The goats were fed a commercial pelleted concentrate diet with or without supplemental commercial probiotic. Though goats fed the probiotics grew better in two of the experiments, there was no difference in performance in the other three experiments.
Probiotic-supplemented diets had no effect on diet digestibility, carcass traits, or fecal microbial populations. Probiotics failed to elicit any consistent benefits when included in the diets of healthy, growing meat goats.
Source: Journal of Animal Science, February 2009. Read Abstract.