Rumen protected lysine is more attractive than a by-product or commodity such as blood meal. Variations in blood meal quality impact the amount of metabolizable lysine (MP lysine) available to the animal, which can result in requirements not being met and negatively impacted performance.

Simply stated, you don't get what you paid for.

Why Is Blood Meal So Variable?

A Maillard reaction occurs when blood meal is dried. This reaction chemically binds some of the lysine to sugars in the blood meal. Even though the lysine is still present, it is now unavailable and cannot be used by the cow. Learn more by watching the Maillard Reaction video.


How Variable Is Your Blood Meal?

As shown in the video, a Maillard reaction can negatively impact the amount of MP lysine supplied by blood meal. Computer software cannot account for feedstuff variability, leading to unmet MP lysine requirements. So the question is, "Are you actually supplying what your formulation software calculates?" A half-pound of high-quality blood meal should provide approximately 20 grams of MP lysine. As the figure below shows, average-quality blood meal provides 10 grams less MP lysine than good-quality blood meal. Which one are you feeding?


Blood Meal Quality: Only The Lab Can Tell

The following figure shows test results of blood meal samples from 11 different suppliers. There was no visual difference between these samples. The total lysine is fairly consistent across samples. The variability occurs when you look at MP lysine, which is the amount that is actually available to the cow. Three things to remember about blood meal:

  • MP lysine values differ between blood meal sources
  • Color is not an indication of quality
  • Unable to forecast the amount of MP lysine fed


Learn more about the variability of the blood meal supply by downloading the following PDFs:

The Variability of Nitrogen Digestibility in Blood Meal Negatively Impacts Ability to Formulate Diets Blood Meal Variability Results in Unknown MP Lysine Yield and Cost


It's common knowledge that blood meal is variable. The question is, "How variable is it?" Kemin is continually analyzing our customers' blood meal samples to answer this question. Learn how unpredictable blood meal is by watching the Blood Meal Variability video.


What Can You Do About This Variability? Fill The Gap!

Eliminating blood meal not only helps minimize variability but it can open up space in your diet. Approximately 23 grams of USA Lysine supplies the same amount of MP lysine as 0.5 lbs of blood meal. This means your cows have a consistent supply of MP lysine and you have the ability to save money, improve your diet, or possibly both. 

Replacing blood meal with USA Lysine:

  • Eliminates a highly variable ingredient
  • Provides a consistent, cost effective source of MP lysine
  • Creates space in your diet
  • Provides the opportunity to improve your diet (more energy, fiber, etc.)

Deciding to rely on blood meal as a source of MP lysine creates a variety of opportunities. Watch the Fill The Gap video to learn more about these opportunities.


Download and read "What is the Opportunity Cost of Feeding Highly Variable Ingredients" to learn more about the economic impact that feed ingredient variability has on production and profit.