Using Lysine in Feed

Management : Milk Production

Nutrition : Transition & Lactating

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Purina Animal Nutrition

The source of lysine in your ration, may or may not be something you’ve given serious consideration to.

However, lysine is one of the first two limiting amino acids in a lactating cow’s diet and plays a critical role in milk production potential.

Lysine is available to the animal through feedstuffs, with blood meal as one of the more common sources of lysine in the diet. The rising price of blood meal is giving dairy producers and nutritionists a reason to look at rumen protected lysine products.

Selecting an alternative lysine source isn’t as easy as it sounds though. Not all lysine sources are created equal and in the last several years the market has been flooded with protected lysine sources. As a result, determining the best source doesn’t come without some serious evaluation.

In my experience, dairy producers and nutritionists will look at price per ton when evaluating alternative lysine sources, but that’s not the only thing to look at. What are you getting per ton, is the better question to ask. Evaluating cost per gram of metabolizable lysine (mLys) may provide better insights into what you’re getting.

For example one source of lysine, USA Lysine®, is 44 percent mLys, contains 200 grams per pound and costs $3.37 per pound, which figures out to be $0.017 per gram of mLys. In comparison another lysine source, is 7.4 percent mLys, contains 34 grams per pound, costs $1.43 per pound, but when you evaluate cost per gram of mLys your spending $0.031.

The cost per gram of mLys you receive from a product can be a bit deceiving if you only look at cost per ton.

With the price of blood meal tracking around $1,400 per ton, looking at alternative lysine sources is definitely appealing. Evaluating blood meal on a mLys basis shouldn’t be overlooked either. At the price of $1,400 per ton, the price per pound of mLys from blood meal is $10.62 while from USA Lysine® it is less than $8.00.