Rumen degradable protein
Total crude protein in a ration consists of soluble protein, degradable protein and rumen ungradable protein. Degradable protein is the fraction which is potentially degradable in the rumen. The fraction can be calculated by taking the total crude protein and deducting the soluble protein and rumen ungradable protein.
Rumen microbes use the degradable protein to produce microbial protein. The rate at which the degradable protein is broken down varies by feed material. The actual amount of degradable protein also depends on the rate of degradation, ration composition and feed intake.
A lot of rapidly degradable protein has a positive influence on milk production. However, when there is too much degradable protein in the rumen relative to energy (positive RDP balance), excess ammonia is created. Grass usually contains a lot of rapidly degradable protein. The rate of degradation is increased by ensiling and decreased by drying and adding acids.