Feeding the rumen
Bacteria populating the rumen are able to synthesize high value protein from non-protein nitrogen. Therefore, enough energy, minerals and trace elements should be available in the feed.
In this way ruminants can cover their protein requirements not only from proteinogenic nitrogen (PN) sources like soybean meal, but also with the help of the ruminal bacteria and non-protein nitrogen (NPN) such as urea. Especially when feed containing a high energy content but a low PN content (e.g. corn silage) is formulated, it is advisable to use an additional source of NPN.
Balancing the diet
The main targets in cattle husbandry is to optimize feed efficiency and to maximize weight gain and milk production. Therefore, rations with high energy and low fibre content are often fed having a negative impact on rumen health. Urea has a higher content of crude protein equivalents than normal protein sources such as soybean meal. This means that a lower volume of urea replaces a higher volume of soybean meal. Thus, the use of urea permits a higher percentage of crude fibre in the ration promoting rumination and resulting in a better rumen health. It additionally mitigates the effects of price fluctuations on the protein market.
Unprotected feed grade urea carries the risk of toxicity. A special technology of encapsulation can be the solution to minimize this risk. Additionally, the resulting slow release of the urea facilitates the synchronization of energy and protein digestion in the rumen. This results in higher microbial growth and therefore more protein available in the intestine for animal performance.
Prote-N® is a specifically encapsulated and slow-release non-protein source of nitrogen which is based on feed grade urea.