Why to Have Urea Tested of Milk

Why to Have Urea Tested of Milk
5 Min Read

The protein eaten by the cow is divided into two segments, rumen degradable protein (RDP) or rumen undegradable protein (RUP). Rumen undegradable protein is sometimes associated with rumen by-pass protein because it holds breakdown in the rumen and is split into the small intestines. Protein deteriorated in the rumen is utilized by the rumen microbes to produce microbial protein, which in turn is utilized by the cow to make milk. In order for the rumen microbes to make protein, they require a source of soluble carbohydrate and soluble (RDP) protein, originally in the form of ammonia.

Excess ammonia in the rumen passes through the rumen wall into the bloodstream. Ammonia is very toxic to most mammals and needs to be eliminated from the body. Blood ammonia is transformed into non-toxic urea in the liver. Urea is a small, water-soluble mixture that equilibrates across all parts of the body and is located in the blood, milk, and urine. Urine is the main course for elimination from the body as a waste product. The conversion of ammonia to urea in the liver requires a solid amount of energy that could be employed to make milk.

Why Utilize Milk Urea for a Test Method?

There is a huge relationship between blood levels of urea and milk, but milk is fancied because it is non-invasive, easy to collect, less variable during the day, and is a useful method of sampling compared with blood. The urea test in milk needs no special on-farm facilities and can be analyzed utilizing the same milk sample used during a regular DHIA test. All you have to do is have your DHIA technician make a note on the barn sheet that you want the test run.

What Does Milk Urea Tell?

If urea milk test concentrations are outside of the prescribed levels, it means that there is an inequality between the rumen soluble carbohydrates and protein required for microbial synthesis. If the concentration is low, then there is apparently either too small soluble protein in the ration or an abundance of soluble carbohydrate. Conversely, a high concentration means there is too much soluble protein or too little soluble carbohydrates. Excessive RUP or protein, in common, can also end in high concentrations. Dairy farmers and nutritional experts have practiced urea milk test concentrations to conclude if:

  • Their ration is accurately equivalent.
  • If the ration on paper or mixed is the same as what the cows are feeding.
  • If the values practiced by the computer are the same as the elements that went into the ration.
  • If there are undetected gear obstacles that changed the ration.

While most DHIA result variables such as fat %, protein %, and somatic cell count are reasonably straight-forward and the presentation almost unambiguous, urea test in milk values require caution in interpretation and it is strongly recommended that a dairy producer consults with a qualified nutritionist before making any major changes in a ration based on urea milk test concentrations. Ration changes should be made gradually and in small additions.