CP or MP?

David Balbian, Area Dairy Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

April 30, 2014

Is Your Ration Balanced for Crude Protein (CP) or Metabolizable Protein (MP)?
CP is Old School Technology!

Crude protein is simply the total amount of protein fed to the cow. If your ration is balanced for crude protein, the levels of soluble, degradable, and undegradable protein may also be calculated. Your nutritionist may be formulating your ration to meet certain levels of these protein fractions. However, this is outdated technology;  Metabolizable protein is defined as the true protein that is absorbed in the cow's intestine.

The two major sources of MP flowing from the rumen are undegraded protein and microbial protein. Microbial protein is from microbial cells that grew in the rumen. Undegraded protein escapes rumen digestion and moves directly to the intestine. Balancing diets for metabolizable protein is a much more accurate predictor  of animal performance, however it takes more sophisticated computer software to calculate it. With today's sky high feed protein prices we need to be balancing for MP! Ask your nutritionist how your ration is balanced. If it is not balanced for MP, ask why not.




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