Urea Molasses Mineral Block Good For Sheep And Goats

The urea molasses mineral block (UMMB) is a feed supplement which is solid, hard compact and water soluble.

It is given to livestock as a lick to supplement low quality roughage. It contains urea, molasses, salt, mineral mixture, rice bran and vitamins.

A urea molasses supplement added to the diet of grazing sheep is effective in reducing the cost of feeds by as much as 50 percent even as the ruminant grows at a normal rate.

For goats, using the supplement with napier grass slightly increased the cost of feed but was effective in raising the daily weight gain.

These are the conclusions of a study made at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) which looked at the performance of goat and when subjected to grazing and confinement and with or without the urea molasses mineral block (UMMB) supplement.

The UMMB is usually suspended or placed near the animals. The animals given enough roughage such as napier grass in this case or are grazed outdoors. It also increases the palatability of rice straw, grasses and forages usually fed to livestock. It also helps animals gain more weight.

The feed supplement is prepared by mixing 5 kilos of salt to 6-8 gallons of water. About 9 kilos of cement is added. Separately, 40 kilos of molasses, 8 kilos of urea, 50 grams of potassium iodide, 5 kilos of bone ash, 74 grams of sulfate and 75 grams of copper sulfate are combined.

The CLSU study found that a napier based diet fortified with UMMB caused a significant increase in the average daily gain of goats and sheep. Both animals have comparable average daily gain when raised under grazing or in confinement systems.

Digestion of nutrients and protein were significantly increased by UMMB supplementation. The urea molasses supplement gave adequate amounts of nutrients for the growth and multiplication of microorganism in the stomach of the animals, thus enhancing their feed intake and improving the digestibility of the fiber and protein components of the diet.

The total protein efficiency of the goat and sheep suggests that those animals supplemented with UMMB require lower amounts of protein to produce a kilo of weight. The ingested protein from napier and UMMB was efficiently utilized by both animals, the study found.