Rumen-protected fat supplements – product types and categories

There is a plethora of rumen-protected fat supplements on the market targeted to ruminant animals and in particular, dairy cows. It is important to remember that fats are not simply energy sources and individual fatty acids have different metabolic functions which help determine the effect they may have on animal production.

A summary of the primary rumen-protected fat product types available commercially is presented in Table 1. Most supplements are suited to beef cattle and other meat-producing animals, while the choice for dairy cows and other milk-producing animals is more-dependent on the objectives of the target farm and what they are aiming to achieve.

Table 1      Most-common commercially-available rumen-protected fat supplement types

Product type Method of rumen protection Main fatty acids (typical) Key benefits (Volac Wilmar) Volac wilmar product
Calcium salt Insoluble in rumen C16:0, C18:1 More milk, better fertility Megalac
High-C16 High melting point Typically > 80% C16:0 More milk fat Mega-Fat range
Hydrogenated C16:0, C18:0 More milk and milk solids Mega-Energy
Triglyceride-based C16:0 More energy for production Mega-Boost