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Have I got enough MPE to meet the requirements for the milk I want the cows to produce?
This is fairly straight forward. A cow giving 35 litres per day may require around 2,440g of metabolisable protein (MP) per day. Is the MPE and MPN supply in the diet sufficient to meet this need? Do we have too much or too little?
Is the MP supply in line with the metabolisable energy (ME) supply in the diet?
If the energy density (M/D) of the ration is good to meet the needs for 35 litres, then the MP supply also wants to be 35 litres. A little bit more (up to a maximum of an extra 2 litres worth) is fine and possibly desirable. However, too much more and the cows will definitely “milk off their backs”, stripping body fat stores to supply energy to meet the protein supply. This is OK for a very short period but longer term will cause fertility problems (cows not showing oestrus/lack of bulling behaviour)
If the MP supply is too low, cows will not produce as much milk as expected and generally start to “dry themselves off”. A careful balance is needed.
How much excess MPN do I have?
When adding up the MPN and MPE in the diet, the MPN is usually higher than the MPE. This is fine as a small excess of nitrogen is needed to help the fibre digesting bacteria work efficiently (at least 150g/day). However, too much (more than about 350g per day) will cause the cows not to hold to service very well and you may get a lot of repeat cases. There is also an energy penalty, as this excess nitrogen is removed by the liver and this is quite expensive in terms of energy needed (often 1.0-1.5 litres worth).
Why FiMLAC formulated feeds are different.
The FiMLAC range was started back In 2001 on the back of the DEFRA LINK study, Feed into Milk for Lactating cows.
Massey Feeds carry out in-house analyses of forage and feed samples using NIRS (Near Infra-Red Reflectance Spectroscopy)
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