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Urea Molasses Multinutrient Block (UMMB)

Molasses which is a major by-product of the sugar industry is a good, palatable and cheap source of energy for ruminants. Use of liquid molasses by small farmers, however, is very limited due to problems related to transport, storage and legislation. One strategy to get over this obstacle and increase the use of molasses is through the manufacture of urea-molasses multinutrient blocks (UMMB). The technique is to mix the different ingredients in a container and to pour the mixture in moulds to solidify into blocks.

UMMB is formulated using ingredients including molasses, urea, cotton seed cake, wheat bran, rice bran, sunflower meal, different minerals like common salt, calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, dicalcium phosphate as well as some amount of fat. We may also add some absorbent. Cement may be added as binding agent. Different formulas for UMMB are given below: 

 

 

 UMMB 

Ingredient

% by weight

A

B

Molasses

40

45

Urea

10

8

Mineral Mixture

5

3

Common Salt

3

2

Cottonseed Cake

5

6

Cement

17

12

Wheat Bran

20

24

Total

100

100

 

Ingredients

% by weight

Molasses

39

Wheat bran

20

Rice polishings

20

Urea

10

Lime

6

Salt

5

Total

100

 

Ingredients

% by weight

Molasses

44

Cottonseed cake

8

Wheat bran

26

Urea

8

Lime

8

Bone meal

2

Salt

2

Gypsum

2

Total

100

All ingredients should be weighed accurately before mixing. Mixing can be done either manually for small quantities, or mechanically using a concrete mixer for large quantities. The sequence in which the ingredients are mixed is very important.  Urea is first added to the molasses and thoroughly mixed. Mineral mixture, cottonseed cake and half of the amount of salt are then added, while mixing continuously.  The remaining half of the salt is mixed with cement or lime and water to make a paste, which is then added to the molasses mixture and thoroughly stirred to obtain a consistent paste.  Wheat bran and rice polishing is added last. Then thoroughly mix the whole ingredients until the product is homogeneous.  This product is then ready to be placed in moulds.

Moulds can be made of wood, plastic, iron or carton boxes, which may be of any shape and size. Bricks can also be used for this purpose. Once the mixture is placed in the mould, it should be left in a well-ventilated room to set. The mixture takes about 48 hours to set, after which the blocks are ready to be utilized. Blocks wrapped in a plastic sheet can be stored in a dry place for several months.

ummb mould

Use of UMMB:
UMMB must only be fed to post-weaning, growing or adult ruminants and never to pre-ruminant calves, because of urea toxicity problems. Since blocks are supplements they should always be used with a minimum quantity of roughage. Blocks should be introduced gradually in the diet of ruminants during a transition period of about 2 weeks to enable the animals to adapt to the new supplement. Afterwards, blocks are offered to animals without any interruption. Blocks being palatable, are licked by animals according to their requirement, thereby regulating the intake of urea so as to ensure its efficient utilization, without any risk of toxicity. 

 

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