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Evaluating the Amino Acid Profiles of Ration Ingredients

After determining that amino acid balancing is something you want to achieve for your dairy ration, the next step is determining the ration ingredients necessary to achieve that amino acid balance.

This process can be accomplished through the following steps:

  1. Determining the protein needs of the rumen microbes. The rumen can be a significant source of waste if rumen-degraded protein levels (RDP) are too high.
     
  2. Determining the amount of microbial protein produced. The amino acid profile of microbial protein has been determined to be most similar to the profile needed for the synthesis of milk.
     
  3. Determining the amount of microbial protein produced. The amino acid profile of microbial protein has been determined to be most similar to the profile needed for the synthesis of milk.
     

As the table to the below shows, no one ingredient protein has a perfect amino acid profile. This table shows the contribution of amino acids from several proteins, relative to the ideal protein. The lowest amino acid value for each is shown in bold. There are a couple things to look at when evaluating the amino acid profiles of these ingredients:
 

  • The amino acid in bold. This is the first-limiting amino acid for that ingredient, and supplementation of this amino acid may be required.
     
  • How closely the amino acid values for the ingredient align with the needs of the cow. While no single ingredient is an exact match, some are closer than others.
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