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Trial 10: Use of lactic yeast in camels during weaning

The results of this experiment suggest that the use of lactic yeast (Turval B0399: Kluyveromyces B0399) can promote faster growth and better health among weaning calves.

Research by E. Beretta, J. Imungi, M. Younan
Ol Maisor Ranch - Rumuruti, Laikipia District, Kenya


During weaning it is normal for camel calves to lose some of their body weight due to a number of factors, including the stress caused by separation from the mother, the loss of dietary support from the mother's milk, the new social group (other weaning calves) and the new grazing diet.
In Ol Maisor Ranch the calves are separated from their mothers at 11-13 months, their weight depends on the breed, sex and amount of milk they received from birth to separation.
During this period, the yeast would be effective in helping the calves' digestive apparatus by establishing a good substratum for the rumen's microflora that is altered by stress.
The aim of the trial was to investigate the effect on the growth of camel calves with the administration of lactic yeast (TURVAL B0399 containing the microrganism Kluyveromyces B0399) .

Location of the trial:
The trial was performed at Ol Maisor Ranch which is a ranch in Rumuruti, Laikipia District, Kenya. The ranch has 480 camels Turkana, Somali Pakistan breeds, and cross camels that are raised for milk and meat. Ol Maisor has a spring-fed pond that provides a steady supply of water.The short rainy season starts in October every year and lasts for several weeks and the long rains begin in late May and last for a month or more.


Material and methods
In early October 1996, 12 camel calves that had been separated from their mothers at an average age of 12 months had a homogenous weight on September 30, 1996.
The calves were in normal condition without skin or gastroentheric disease.
These calves were randomly divided into two groups of four males and two females with a median age of 12 months.
One group of 6 weaning calves with ID numbers 468, 469, 470, 472, 652 and 654 was chosen to be the treated group.
The contol group of calves with ID numbers 464, 465, 466, 467, 656 and 658 did not receive the yeast supplement.
The treated group was given 30 gr of Turval 3 camel supplement (with lactic yeast TURVAL B0399) daily for 7 days (from October 10th to 16 th) for a total of 210 g per calf.
Each 30 g. of Turval 3 camel was mixed with 200 ml of distilled water and administered orally by bottle.
The trial lasted 30 days and the calves were weighed at the beginning of the trial, on the 15th day and the end of the trial.The calves were weighed on:

1. 30 September 1996
2. 15 October (T0)
3. 30 October (T1)

Data was analyzed using a least square ANOVA program Model including the effect of the lactic yeast supplement.


The data collected demonstrate that both groups of calves combined lost an average of 6% of their body weight during the period from day 0 to day 15 (30 September 15 October).
During this time, from day 0 to day 15, the calves that received the yeast supplement lost an average of 9% of their body weight because this group of calves was subject to the stress caused by oral administration of the yeast.
The control group of calves lost an average of 3% of their body weight.
After 15 days, the calves that received the yeast gained more weight than the control calves (see figure 1).
The experimental group had an average increase of 3.5% of body weight compared with an average increase of 0.45% for the control group.
The average daily gain for calves that received the supplement, compared with that for calves without the supplement was: 1.2 kg versus 0.38 kg (days 15-30).

Fig. 1- Comparison in average increase in body weight of calves with and without Turval 3 camel (containing lactic yeast Kluyveromyces B0399).


The administration of lactic yeast (Turval B0399: Kluyveromyces B0399) does not seem to cause any side effects.
The results of this experiment suggest that the use of lactic yeast can promote faster growth and better health among weaning calves.


The authors thank TURVAL Laboratories s.r.l. (Italy), who manufactured and provided the supplement Turval 3 camel.
Thanks also to brother Luis of Comboni Fathers in Nairobi for his help with logistics and communications and to J. Evans and D. Atkins for general assistance during the trial.


1.Abdouli, H and Kraiem, K, 1990a. Intake. Digestion and feeding behaviour of the one-humped camel stall-feed-straw-based diets.
2.Liv. Res. Rural Dev., 2 (2).
3.Holler (H), Breves (G.) Lechner-Doll (M.). Profil et taux de renouvellement en min¥raux dans le pr¥-estomac de dromadaires p‰turant en diverses saisons au Kenya. Revue Elev. Med. Vet. Pays trop.1989 42 (1). (1-87)
4.V. Bontempo, G. Savoini. Alimentazione delle vitelle da rimonta rev. Informatore Zootecnico, 1995, 1, 29-40.

About the authors

Ernesto Beretta is a researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Milan (Italy).
Isper Imunge is the chairman of the Institute of Technical Nutrition at the Univesity of Nairoby.
Mario Younan is a researcher at Egerton Univesity.
Debbie Atkins is the manegement director of Ol Maisar Ranch ( Kenya)

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