We get asked on a pretty regular basis what do we recommend for feed analysis; especially when people want to add new feeds to the library. So to answer that question, we’ve put together this posting.

This is not a simple question to answer as it depends upon:

  • feed type
  • is this a
    • new product
    • updating existing product or
    • quality control sampling
  • and if manufactured product, the stability of the manufacturing process

So let’s start with these assumptions

  • Feeds are to be characterized for CNCPS 6.5 biology
    • some of this is leading to CNCPS 7 biology
  • Unconstrained budget
  • Non-mineral feeds addressed
    • bioavailability of minerals can only be determined with cattle studies

One of the first things to be determined is the number of samples required.

  • Needs to be determined based on product/feed variance for different components.
    • Can be estimated from preliminary project to determine mean and standard deviation
      • based upon these results, a decision must be made to determine how ‘close’ one desires to be from the 95% confidence interval.
  • Contact AMTS for more information.

Basic chemistry recommendations

  • The following basic chemistry should be performed using AOAC approved methods where available
    • Dry matter
    • Crude Protein
    • Soluble Protein
    • NDICP
    • ADICP
    • aNDFom
    • Sugar
    • Starch
    • Total Fat
    • Ash
    • Minerals

Now, this list is not fixed. For example, if a feed is a mineral supplement, doing all of these does not make any sense. So here are a few ‘special cases’ to consider

  1. Feeds containing NPN or ammonia
    1. Add ammonia to the analysis
  2. Feeds containing >25% starch
    1. At a minimum, add a 7 hr starch in vitro
    2. Or, multi-time point starch in vitro so that we can estimate starch kd
  3. Feeds containing high levels of aNDFom (>20%)
    1. in vitro aNDFom degradation
      1. if forage: 30, 120 and 240 hr time points
      2. non-forage: 12, 72, 120 hr time points
      3. all other feeds should have lignin analysis
  4. Non-forage feeds >20% crude protein (unless this protein comes from ammonia or urea)
    1. IUN assay
    2. Amino Acids (%CP basis)
  5. Fermented feeds, or feeds where organic acids are added
    1. VFAs
      1. Acetic
      2. Propionic
      3. Butyric
      4. Lactic
      5. and in some cases, propane-1,2-diol (propylene glycol)
  6. In general, to improve energy predictions,
    1. Total fatty acids
  7. Feeds high in fat (>10%) or blends of fat sources
    1. Total fatty acids
    2. Fatty Acid Profile (C12 and longer)

If you have any questions, comments, or need additional help, contact AMTS!


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