When fed as a part of the diet to ruminants, urea is converted to ammonia by the micro-flora in the rumen.
Micro-organisms in the rumen use ammonia to make microbial proteins as long as energy is available at the same time.
Bacteria and protozoa are then digested by the animal. Urea, therefore, has a value that is partly equivalent to protein for ruminants.
Molasses, urea and other ingredients, such as cereal stovers or straws are used in the manufacture of molasses/urea feeds prepared as blocks.
Urea-Molasses-MineralBlocks is an excellent way of providing readily degradable protein and readily fermentable energy to dairy cows, and they help increase the protein supply to the animal in situations where this may be limiting.
Feeding urea-molasses mineral block to dairy cows
- As a feed supplement, urea-molasses-mineral Block provides dairy cows with essential nutrients, such as protein, energy, and minerals usually deficient in most forages and crop residues.
- The blocks are given to ruminants as a lick/supplements. Care should be taken so that the cows does not bite it. By licking the block, the nitrogen level in the rumen remains for a longer period of time which increases the digestibility of coarse roughage (e.g. straw).
- Initially, if the animal does not want to lick the block, it should be habituated by spreading salt or bran on it.
- It is recommended to feed a mature cow 0.5kg/day. A block of 5 kgs may last between 7 and 10 days when given to a cow weighing 350-400 kgs.
- A block of this kind cannot be used as a supplement for animals younger than six months, or by animals which have not eaten anything for the whole day.
- The block must be protected from rainwater so that it does not soften.
- Consumption of too much urea-molassesmineral block must be prevented.
- The blocks should never be supplied in ground form or dissolved in water.
- The animals should be supplied with other usual feeds like straw, fresh green grass, concentrates and sufficient amounts of clean drinking water in addition to the blocks.
- Note: All the ruminants are sensitive to a large quantity of urea, which becomes toxic and intoxication can occur if a large amount of urea is ingested. An adaptation period of at least three weeks is required for the animal to utilise efficiently.
Ensiling cereal stovers and straws with poultry litter
Commercial poultry industry is growing rapidly in Uganda. Layer hens produce 100g-150g waste products per bird per day, with a 25% dry matter content. A flock of 100,000 layers kept in cages will produce more than 12 tons daily or 4,380 tonnes a year.
Poultry wastes are higher in nutritional value and can be a valuable feed for ruminants. It contains about 28-30% crude protein out of which 36-50% is true protein.
The nutritive value of poultry waste depends on the type of ration, age and type of birds producing the droppings, extent of feed spoilage, quantity of feathers present, age of droppings before drying, temperature and duration.
Poultry litter is organic waste produced from chickens and turkeys like manure, spilled feed, feathers, and bedding materials.
Due to the lack of proper disposal system, a large amount of poultry manure and litter (droppings with bedding materials) are creating environmental and health problem hazards and foul smell near and adjoining areas of the poultry farms.
Proper disposal of poultry droppings to minimise the environmental pollution is a new challenge for poultry farmers.
Most effective and easy solution of these problems is to use the excreta for feeding animals either by drying or ensiling with poor quality forages.
Recycling poultry waste after proper sterilisation and processing has been advocated for two reasons:
Its useful nutrients can be used in a case of feedstuff shortage and to reduce pollution. Poultry wastes
can be rendered free of pathogens.
Instructions for making a 10kg urea-molasses-mineral Block
Ingredients of urea-molasses-Mineral Block (for 10kg mixture)
Mineral premix 0.5
Stover or straw 4
Weigh 4kg. molasses and put in a large container.
- Add 0.5kg. mineral premix and 1kg of urea and mix well manually.
- Keep this mixture for at least 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, the mixture in the container is again mixed well by hand.
- Add milled maize stover or rice straw which were previously kept into separate containers and mix well.
– Place the mixture in a wooden mould (9 x 5 x 5 inches) or a metallic mould.
-Apply pressure using a wooden cover to give the block a shape. The block will weigh about 2.5Kg.