Calcium Salt of Long Chain Fatty Acids

The calcium soap/salt of long chain fatty acid or CaLCFA is a type of rumen bypass fat made especially for high milk-yielding dairy ruminants (animals with 4 stomachs) such as cows, goats and sheep. Due to high requirement of energy to produce more milk and to recover from birthing (needed to get the animal to lactate), there is a need to provide a diet of highly intense energy feed. In addition to this, ruminants have a very specific digestive system that would not tolerate the presence of oil (triglycerides + glycerol) in the 1st stomach or rumen. And hence this energy feed must be able to stay inert to be digested in the later part of the system.

The CaLCFA is one such product made especially for such a purpose. It is categorized as a rumen bypass fat even though technically, it is more of soap as its name implies! The CaLCFA is made by combining long chain fatty acids with a calcium source resulting in a soap that will stay inert in the rumen or 1st stomach. Because it main structure consists of fatty acids which essentially is unattached triglycerides - the main ingredient in an oil or fat that is converted to energy, the CaLCFA once broken up in the acidic 4th stomach, allows the fatty acids to be digested and converted into energy.

The fatty acid types in CaLCFA are of the long chain types which are similar to the ones found in cow’s milk and have been proven to be conducive to the well-being of lactating animals.

As demand for higher productivity increases, farmers of dairy cows are increasing faced with the need to supplement energy sources that could no longer be assuaged by the feeding of more dry matter.

Moreover, in the balance of economics, the cheapest energy source based one calorimetric contribution has to be derived from oils & fats.

However the feeding of more oils & fats will invariably cause more harm than good because oils & fat break down in the rumen, into fatty acids. These same fatty acids will then be subjected to bio-hydrogenation processes that will inhibit microbial activities in the same rumen. This disruption will lead a variety of problems to the health of the animal such as:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Slow recovery after calving
  • Low milk-yield
  • Fertility problems
  • Ketosis, Acidosis
  • Death

If rumen activities are so crucial, then energy supplements via oils & fats will have to be modified in a way that it by-passes the rumen before it could be absorbed. The Calcium Soap offers one such alternative. The calcium bonding with fatty acids prevents the product from being reacted upon in the rumen stage thereby providing the crucial “inertness”.

This simplistic effect actually took away a majority of the problems mentioned above and will allow the modern high milk-yielding cows the much needed energy to stage a recovery after calving and since rumen activities were not affected, nutrients absorption from dry matters intake is also optimized.


The calcium soap stays inert in the rumen and then passes on through to the abomasum's where the relative acidity condition there will naturally break down the calcium bonding and allow for optimal intestinal digestions.

Approximate analysis of the compound feed offered to animals in various treatments (%)

Dry matter 85.5687.9690.0692.06
Crude protein 18.5017.2315.3115.17
Crude fiber 05.2004.7004.4004.10
Ether extract 03.4004.3005.1005.70
Ash 05.1706.1207.4308.25

Effect of by-pass fat on milk yield and composition on Sahiwal cows

ParameterGroup 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Average Milk yield (kg day-1)6.93±0.53b8.96±0.53ab10.45±0.53a7.63±0.53b
Average Fat (%)4.03±0.02c4.14±0.02bc4.26±0.02ab4.49±0.02a
Average Protein (%)3.56¬±0.323.70±0.323.75±0.323.61±0.32
Average SNF (%)7.61±0.03b7.76±0.03b8.21±0.03a8.29±0.03a
Average Total solids (%)12.60±0.3113.42±0.3113.81±0.3114.01±0.31
Average Weight gain (kg)48.28±2.1948.09±2.1945.03±15.845.15±15.8

Effect of by-pass fat on milk cost at different levels of supplementation and weight gain

ParameterGroup 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Feed cost Rs./day280.00320.00336.00356.00
Milk yield (kg day-1)6.03±0.53b8.96±0.053ab10.45±0.53a7.630.53b
Milk Value (Rs.)541±42.8b716±42.8ab836.±0.53a610±0.53b
Milk cost (Rs./Kg)41.53±2.3736.7±2.37ab32.20±2.37b46.14±2.37a
Average Wt. gain (Kg)48.28±2.1948.90±2.1945.03±2.1945.15±2.19