Accurate Determination of the Contribution of Canola Meal to Metabolizable Protein Supply in Dairy Cows

Animal Health Benefits of Canola Products  Canola Meal 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Daniel Ouellet - AAFC (Quebec)
Hélѐne Lapierre - AAFC (Quebec), Pekka Huhtanen - Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Édith Charbonneau - Université Laval
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Canola Council of Canada, SaskCanola, Alberta Canola
Project Ongoing...

Research Objective

  • To track where different portions of CM protein is degraded and whether it flows through the duodenum earlier than expected, adding to the rumen undigestible protein and the comparing it to soybean meal
    • Will also be used to track rumen kinetics - how fast the CM protein is degraded, where it is degraded, how quickly it flows through the rumen, duodenum, etc.

Project Description

Canola meal protein was predicted through current models to negatively affect milk protein content but studies showed the opposite - it actually increased protein content as compared to the industry standard (soybean meal). Therefore, the model used to predict canola meal protein quality needs to be improved to accurately reflect its digestibility, etc. To better this model, the path of all the canola meal protein needs to be tracked and then compared to soybean meal. The assumption in particular that needs to be studied is whether the canola meal proteins are actually flowing out of the duodenum as a whole rather than partially with the liquid phase, which would add to the rumen undigestible protein. To find this out, the canola meal is going to be tagged with nitrogen tracers that will be measured along the dairy cow’s digestive process to determine where and when it is being degraded and adding to milk protein content. This research will help to establish canola meal as a standard component of dairy cattle feed, increase the accuracy of predictive models for canola meal, and understand where and when the milk protein content is coming from.

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