Posted by Mike Harper, Ph.D., Matthew Sellers, Ph.D. on May 20, 2020 11:53:01 AM

Blood Meal Replacement with Rumen-Protected Lysine and High Bypass Protein Feedstuffs For Dairy Cattle.

Nearly two dozen meat processing plants closed in April 2020 and many more have reduced production due to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. Pork and beef harvesting capacity decreased by 40% at the end of April 2020, according to CoBank, and remain below full capacity. This has caused both blood meal shortages and increased prices. Whenever a specific ingredient increases substantially in price, it is prudent to explore alternative feedstuffs to supply required nutrients such as metabolizable lysine and protein. 

The importance of providing adequate metabolizable protein and limiting amino acids for dairy cattle to achieve high production is well known. Blood meal is often used to provide lysine and other essential amino acids to dairy cattle to help satisfy their metabolizable protein requirements in a nutrient nutrient-dense package. 

A typical blood meal might contain 95% crude protein, 76% rumen-undegradable protein, and 9% lysine. Several publications have highlighted challenges related to blood meal variability with the digestibility of rumen-undegradable protein ranging from lower than 40% to over 90% (Knapp, J. and N. St-Pierre, 2011). Much of this variability is due to heat damage during the drying process which can form advanced Maillard reaction products from the linking of sugars with the free amino group unique to lysine. (Nursten, 2005; Yaylayan and Huyghues-Despointes, 1994). 

Research from Dr. Mike Van Amburgh at Cornell University demonstrated in a lactating cow trial that the quality of blood meal fed indeed affects milk production – Cows fed lower quality blood meal (33.8 vs 9% predicted intestinal N indigestibility) produced more than 4 lbs less energy corrected milk than cows fed higher quality blood meal in their study (Gutierrez-Botero et al., 2014). An additional concern with blood meal is when supply tightens from time to time causing spikes in prices. Dairy cattle farmers and nutritionists should seek to mitigate variability in blood meal quality as well as price fluctuation in ration costs as a means of ensuring more consistent milk and component production and more predictable feed costs.

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related to blood meal replacement.

4 Steps to Blood Meal Replacement


Learn more about EB-LYS™, a Rumen-Protected Lysine Supplement for use in dairy cows.

This valuable essential amino acid comes with a protective Energy Booster coating, providing the cow with a readily available source of energy. Since dairy cows cannot synthesize lysine, its requirements must be met through the diet.

Reach out to the technical experts at Milk Specialties Animal Nutrition for more information or to ask a question.