Evaluation of protein fractionation systems used in formulating rations for dairy cattle. Academic Article uri icon


  • Production efficiency decreases when diets are not properly balanced for protein. Sensitivity analyses of the protein fractionation schemes used by the National Research Council Nutrient Requirement of Dairy Cattle (NRC) and the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) were conducted to assess the influence of the uncertainty in feed inputs and the assumptions underlying the CNCPS scheme on metabolizable protein and amino acid predictions. Monte Carlo techniques were used. Two lactating dairy cow diets with low and high protein content were developed for the analysis. A feed database provided by a commercial laboratory and published sources were used to obtain the distributions and correlations of the input variables. Spreadsheet versions of the models were used. Both models behaved similarly when variation in protein fractionation was taken into account. The maximal impact of variation on metabolizable protein from rumen-undegradable protein (RUP) was 2.5 (CNCPS) and 3.0 (NRC) kg/d of allowable milk for the low protein diet, and 3.5 (CNCPS) and 3.9 (NRC) kg/d of allowable milk for the high protein diet. The RUP flows were sensitive to ruminal degradation rates of the B protein fraction in NRC and of the B2 protein fraction in the CNCPS for protein supplements, energy concentrates, and forages. Absorbed Met and Lys flows were also sensitive to intestinal digestibility of RUP, and the CNCPS model was sensitive to acid detergent insoluble crude protein and its assumption of complete unavailability. Neither the intestinal digestibility of the RUP nor the protein degradation rates are routinely measured. Approaches need to be developed to account for their variability. Research is needed to provide better methods for measuring pool sizes and ruminal digestion rates for protein fractionation systems.

published proceedings

  • J Dairy Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Lanzas, C., Tedeschi, L. O., Seo, S., & Fox, D. G.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Lanzas, C||Tedeschi, LO||Seo, S||Fox, DG

publication date

  • January 2007