Blood meal continues to be one of the most commonly used commodity lysine sources fed in dairy cattle diets to meet amino acid needs. But one word can be used to explain what makes feeding blood meal so difficult: inconsistency.

Research completed by Marshall Stern at the University of Minnesotahas emphasized how variable lysine levels in blood meal can be. The study compared four samples of blood meal for lysine percentage, percent rumen undegradable protein (RUP), percent lysine digestibility and percent metabolizable protein in the lysine. The table reflects the study’s findings and displays the extreme variability that can be delivered between batches.

Lysine digestibility is one of the most important values because it shows how much of the lysine can be utilized by the cow. The average percent digestibility is 65.6 percent in the four blood meals tested, while it ranges from 53 to 80 percent. The range makes it especially difficult to consistently balance rations for amino acids using blood meal.

For nutritionists, this range in quality is especially alarming because cows depend on a consistent, high-quality protein source to maintain high production levels. If the amino acids provided by blood meal are different every day, or in every load delivered, it’s nearly impossible to properly balance the diet.

Finding a high-quality lysine source is critical to deliver the consistent, high-quality protein cows need to thrive throughout the lactation. Alternative sources to blood meal can provide similar nutrients along with consistent levels of lysine for peace of mind and peak performance.

Source: Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition