Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 1996


Published in 1996 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report; published by Agricultural Research Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Protein, the most expensive winter supplement, may be overfed because the actual rumen degradable and escape protein requirements are unknown. Rumen degradable protein is protein degraded by the rumen microorganisms and used by them for their growth and protein synthesis. Escape protein is protein which is not degraded in the rumen but enzymatically digested in the small intestine for use by the animal at the tissue level. Metabolizable protein is the combination of digestible microbial protein and escape protein that flows to the small intestine for use by the host animal. Previous Nebraska reports (Karges et al.. 1991 Beef Cattle Report) indicated that the metabolizable protein required for the wintering. gestating beef cow can be met by microbial flow to the small intestine. Therefore, our objective was to determine the rumen degradable protein requirement of gestating beef cows grazing dormant native Sandhills range.