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6 will show (1) that net tissue protein accretion is zero or negative in early lactation - which is probably the period of greatest interest, and (2) that milk protein output is large compared with possible con tributions from labile reserves (if these are used, see p. 47). In practice it is therefore reasonably justified to simplify the calculation to: absorbed protein = milk protein + oxidation product. The efficiency of utilization of amino acid (EAAU) or of protein (EPU, Oldham, 1978) is then calculated as: milk amino acid or protein milk amino acid or protein + oxidation product The two techniques which have been used to measure EAAU and EPU there fore involve measurements of 14C-amino acid oxidation to 14 C0 2 or urea-N production from amino acid N catabolism.
There is, however, reason to doubt the universal application of these values, none of which was obtained in early lactation. 8 NET ABSORPTION FROM THE SMALL INTESTINE OF LEUCINE (RAT), NITROGEN (EWE) OR NON-AMMONIA N (NAN; EWE) IN NON-PREGNANT NONLACTATING (NPNL), PREGNANT OR LACTATING FEMALES. VALUES RELATE TO NPNL AS 100 Compound Animal NPNL Pregnant Lactating Source Leucine Rat 100 107-111 122-142 Abomasal N Ewe 100 118 131 Abomasal NAN Ewe 100 106 103 Cripps and Williams, 1975 Thompson, Robinson and McHattie, 1978 Weston, 1979 non-lactating state (Cripps and Williams, 1975; Thompson, Robinson and McHattie, 1978; Weston, 1979).
The numerical values have little meaning unless they can be compared with po tential amino acid supply. This can be estimated taking account of the following: 56 Amino acid requirements for lactation in high-yielding dairy cows (1) (2) (3) non-ammonia N supply to the duodenum appears to be limited at 3 g NAN/MJ ME intake (Oldham and Tamminga, 1980); amino acid N is about 70 per cent of duodenal NAN; the amino acid composition of duodenal contents is relatively constant (see p. il). 11 THE AMINO ACID CONTENT OF DUODENAL DIGESTA OF MATURE WETHER SHEEP AND OF LACTATING DAIRY COWS IN COMPARISON WITH RUMEN BACTERIA AND PROTOZOA, COW'S MILK AND CALF CARCASE.