Protein Management

Protein is a critical nutrient in all dairy cattle diets. Signs of protein deficiency include lowered appetite, weight loss, poor growth, depressed reproductive performance and reduced milk quality and quantity. Young, growing and lactating animals are classes of ruminants most likely to require good quality and quantity of protein supplementation.

Protein in dairy animal diet is commonly expressed as crude protein. To determine the crude protein content of a forage or feedstuff, firstly the nitrogen content of the feed is measured, and the corresponding nitrogen value is multiplied by 6.25, because proteins typically contain 16 percent nitrogen (1 / 0.16 = 6.25). Crude protein is comprised of both true protein and non-protein nitrogen (NPN). Not all nitrogen-containing compounds are true proteins. Many NPN compounds can supply nitrogen to the rumen microbes that then build microbial protein in the rumen using this nitrogen along with the available carbon sources or energy. True protein is sometimes called “natural protein”. It is either degradable or undegradable in the rumen. Rumen Degradable Protein (RDP) is broken down in the rumen and Rumen Undegradable Protein (RUP) is the protein that cannot be broken down in the rumen but is potentially degradable in the small intestine. It is sometimes called Undegradable Intake Protein (UIP) or Rumen Bypass Protein. RUP includes amino acid content of the raw materials which might be unbalanced for amino acid requirements of the animal and needs proper amino acid balancing.

Crude protein is the sum of RDP and RUP. A minimum amount of RDP and NPN is needed in the diet to support microbial growth, which ultimately provides Microbial Crude Protein (MCP) to the animal which is a balanced protein in terms of the amino acids content with respect to the animal requirements. MCP and RUP together are called Metabolizable Protein (MP).  Metabolizable protein (MP) separates protein requirements into the needs of rumen microorganisms and the needs of the animal. Metabolizable protein (MP) is the real protein absorbed in the intestine of the animal. 

Support with Kemin

The Kemin-developed rumen protected lysine, methionine and choline products were created to support and keep dairy cows healthy and productive. Every Kemin solution is supported by data-driven research using sophisticated models that are validated in a multi-step process. With over 30 years of experience and millions of dollars of invested research, Kemin backs all of its products with guarantees of safety and support.



1Kemin Internal Document, 15-00021.

2Kemin Internal Document, 14-00001.

Protein Nutrition Solution

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