Total Fatty Acid Results, Why Are They Important?

What Are Fatty Acid Results?

Total Fatty Acids (TFA) give a more defined and accurate measurement of fat content in feed and indicate the energy content of a feed source.

Why Are Fatty Acids Important?

Fatty acids (FA) play an important role in maintaining physiological processes in animals and have been shown to have nutrigenomic effects.

Result output will include:

Total Fatty Acids (TFA)

  • Saturated Fatty Acids
  • Including Palmitic acid, which functions to partition nutrients into milk production.
  • Including Stearic acid, which is linked to milk and milk fat yield, as well as oleic acid production.

Unsaturated Fatty Acids (UFA) = monounsaturated fatty acids + polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA + PUFA)

  • Rumen Unsaturated Fatty Acid Load (RUFAL) = oleic + linoleic + linolenic fatty acids. When high levels are present in the diet, UFA have been shown to cause ruminal microbial population change, fermentation disruption and a negative impact on performance.
Low-risk RUFAL sourcesHigh-risk RUFAL sources
Hay, unprocessed corn & corn silage, whole oilseeds, and calcium salts of fatty acids.Processed corn & corn silage, ground oilseeds, fats/oils, bakery waste, and roasted beans.
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acid: Oleic Acid
  • Used & synthesized to aid in fat digestion.
  • Important to maintain/increase body condition score.
  • Involved in fertility.
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acid: Linoleic Acid
  • An essential FA, needing to be consumed through the diet as the cow’s body cannot make it.
  • Used to form other fatty acids vital to tissue function, fertility and inducing birthing.
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acid: Linolenic
  • Another essential FA.
  • Used to form other fatty acids vital to tissue function, fertility and embryo survival.

Grab a test kit today to see if your Total Fatty Acids are within guidelines.


  • 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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