Urea molasses mineral block (UMMB) licks
Development of urea molasses mineral block licks is another technology being increasingly used in several parts of India and such licks make available energy, non protein nitrogen, minerals and vitamins together to dairy animals, which depend mainly on crop residues and other agro-industrial byproducts for their nutrients. Therefore, animals maintained on crop residues showed better performance when exposed to the The UMMB licks as a result of nutrients availability and higher consumption of crop residues. UMMB licks are manufactured by the hot and cold processes as explained below:
In the hot process urea and molasses are heated and after achieving a particular consistency of material, other feed ingredients such as oil cakes, brans, mineral mixture are mixed following the constant stirring. After cooling the mixture, it is transferred to mold of desired shape and size. Thereafter the lick is packed in thick polythene sheets. While in the cold process, exothermic heat, generated as a result of reaction of added CaO and MgO with molasses is utilized following the above method of mixing the ingredients and making the licks.
In India, UMMB lick of 3 kg each is being manufactured, which is sufficient for 7 days for an animal. Use of these blocks resulted in increased milk and fat production as a re sult of stimulate d rumen ferme ntation (incr easing microb ial protein production)and improved DMI. The increase in milk fat when the nutrient block is provided to buffaloes is due to an increased efficiency of synthesis of microbial cells in the rumen. In spit of good utility of UMMB, its acceptability is lower due to the reasons of its disfigurement during hot summer months, attraction of flies, and the chances of toxicity following the eating of residual thin layer of UMMB.
In view of the high cost of molasses, alternative technique was applied to prepare the slow ammonia release compound prepared from urea, which rapidly hydrolyze into ammonia and reduce the efficiency of ammonia utilization by ruminal microbes. In this technique urea is treated with formaldehyde and the resulting compounds release the ammonia at slow rate and provide the opportunity for its efficient utilization for microbial protein synthesis.