17 Feb 2022

Protein quality for ruminants

The amino acid needs of ruminants can be met at the maintenance level only with microbial protein. However, for high production levels, these are not sufficient and must be supplemented with dietary sources of protein or protected amino acids that escape degradation in the rumen.

Protein quality for ruminants

Protein quality for ruminants is a very important factor to take into account when formulating appropriate diets. Ruminant feed is mainly fermented in the rumen, where volatile fatty acids and microbial protein are produced.

Fermented digested content leaves the rumen along with microbial biomass and undergoes further digestion in the abomasum (true stomach) and intestines. This last process of digestion is similar to that of a monogastric animal. Microbial protein is digested and absorbed in the small intestine and supplies most of the absorbed amino acids.

The amino acid profile of this microbial protein has high quality. With methionine considered to be the first limiting amino acid for growing animals and lysine second(Storm and Ørskov, 1984).

Animals’ amino acid needs can be met up to a maintenance level just with microbial protein.

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For moderate and high production levels, the supply of microbial amino acids should be supplemented with dietary sources of protein or protected amino acids that can bypass rumen degradation.Protein

The rate of digestion of feed, particularly fodder, and the rate of passage for rumen residues, are important factors which influence voluntary feed intake and productivity.


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Continue reading (spanish content) “Protein nutrition in ruminants: interview with Dr. Darío Colombatto”



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