Protein For Animals And Why It’s Important!

Protein is an extremely important component of your animals feed source. It is required on a daily basis for body condition maintenance, lactation, growth, weight gain and reproduction. Did you know that protein itself has many different components that have different functions once they enter the digestive system.

Crude Protein – Is a measure of the total amount of nitrogen containing substances in the feed, including true protein and non-protein nitrogen substances such as urea.

Available Protein – Available Protein is the amount of crude protein actually absorbed by the animal (crude protein minus the protein lost in faeces).

Acid Detergent Insoluble Crude Protein (ADICP) – also known as heat damaged or unavailable protein. Typically caused by heating during fermentation or drying, a portion of the protein reacts with carbohydrates to form an indigestible complex rendering it unavailable for digestion. ADICP escapes ruminal breakdown and represents the portion of the undegradable protein that is unavailable to the animal.

Neutral Detergent Insoluble Crude Protein (NDICP) – it has been suggested that the NDICP represents the portion of the undegradable protein that is available to the animal.

Soluble Protein (SP) – Consists of true protein and non-protein nitrogen that are rapidly broken down in the rumen. They are used to synthesize microbial protein in the rumen.

Degradable Protein (RDP) – Consists of the soluble protein and proteins of intermediate ruminal degradability. They are used to synthesize microbial protein in the rumen.

You might be interested to know that the crude protein levels of a feed are not determined solely by the quantity of true protein that the feed contains, but also by determining the amount of nitrogen-containing substances. This is due to the fact that when nitrogen-containing substances enter the rumen, the microbes in the rumen are able to synthesise them into microbial protein. This sort of protein is referred to as non-protein nitrogen (NPN) and an example of this is urea. As a general rule NPN should only make up about one third of protein intake in a diet, with the other two thirds of protein intake being made up by true protein.

True protein can be separated into two different groups which consist of degradable and undegradable protein. Degradable protein can be broken down in the rumen, whereas undegradable protein is not degraded in the rumen but is often broken down further along the line in the small intestine. In general, ruminants will use undegradable proteins much more efficiently then those that are degraded in the rumen, so it is important to have a minimal amount of degradable protein it the diet so that productivity is not compromised.

It’s important to know the crude protein levels in feed, due to the fact that different types of beasts require different amounts of protein when you take into account factors such as their breed, weight and productions level (eg. reproduction or lactation). By knowing the protein levels in a feed you can easily match the animals’ daily needs and in turn improve the animals’ productivity.

$87inc. GST
  • • Minerals
  • • Crude Protein
  • • Digestible Energy
  • • Metabolisable Energy
  • • Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF)
  • • Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF)
  • • Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC)
  • • Simple Sugars (ESC)
  • • Crude Fat
  • • Starch
  • • Ash
  • Feed Test Quality Certificate

Moisture Meters help me to determine the moisture when the product is baled or in the windrow. There is no other tool around quite like it. It’ll pay for itself 10 times over and it gives you peace of mind knowing the moisture readings.

Anon Feed Central Client


  • Neville Janke

    Neville Janke is a qualified agronomist and Horticulturist with over 20 years of experience guiding farmers in the Agricultural and Horticultural industries. With this experience, Neville has been helping long-term users of Hay and grain to experience the Feed Central way of sourcing quality Feed for hungry cattle.

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