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Molasses Urea Blocks as Supplementary Feed Resource for Ruminants in Botswana

Author(s): Aganga, A. A. | P. Lelata | M.V. Tsiane

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 4;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 524;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Molasses urea block | Tswana sheep | supplementary feeding | weight gains

Molasses urea block utilization is one of the strategies for improving feed resources for ruminant animals especially during the dry season of the year, using low cost feed supplement. In study 1, the same level of molasses (45%) and urea (15%) were used in three treatments of blocks, except for the fourth treatment where molasses and urea were not included, this treatment was regarded as control. Elemental sulphur was added at 0.5% level. Dicalcium Phosphate was added at 2%. Sodium chloride was included in levels of 3% in all treatments. Cement, which is in the fine powdering form was used as a binder in this trial and it was included at 10%. The cement was premixed with water in the ratio (w/w) 100 parts of cement to 50 part of water. One type of bran either sorghum, maize or wheat bran was included in each treatment at 17.5% for wheat bran,and maize bran while sorghum bran was included at 16.5%. Hay was included to improve consistency at 7% for treatments with wheat and maize bran but for sorghum bran it was included at 8%. This is because the block with sorghum bran was too soft at 7% hay inclusion in the preliminary trial of block production. Chemical analyses showed that the blocks contained high dry matter (83.92 to 95.23%) together with crude protein, Ash, NDF, ADF and IVTD. ADL was found to be low (2.16 to 3.64) in all the four treatments. Major and trace elements determined were found to be present in the blocks. The mineral tested include Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, iron, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. An acceptability test was done by giving the blocks to grazing sheep and goats in their kraals. The Tswana sheep and goats consumed the urea-molasses blocks after nimbling at it for the first 24 hours because the blocks were new to the animals. After the first day the sheep and goats fed freely on the blocks until all the blocks finished showing that sheep and goats will consume urea-molasses block if provided to the animals. In study 2, urea molasses block made up of molasses (47.5%), urea (15%), dicalcium phosphate (2%), sodium chloride (3%), cement (7.5%), sulphur (0.5%), sorghum bran (16.5%) and grass hay (8%) were used for supplementing Tswana sheep in a feeding trial that lasted for 62 days. The sheep were divided into two groups of eight each, the control was given 100% veldt grass while the treatment group was given veldt grass plus molasses urea block (MUB) as supplement. The veldt grass was given at 4% of the body weight. Water was provided daily. The MUB increased growth rate of the supplemented Tswana sheep by 94%.
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