How to make Urea Mineral Molasses Block (UMMB)

Introduction:

In most developing countries, there is a shortage of feed and Local farmers cannot complete the requirement of dairy cows mainly by grazing and local crop residue because these crop residues are low in nitrogen and high in fiber and lignin; characteristics that restrict intake and digestibility in animals. These feeds are deficient in protein, Carbohydrates, and minerals along with their poor digestibility. Both these characteristics keep intake and productivity low. 

Poor nutrition and poor feed availability are the major limiting factors in the productivity of animals in the country.

Urea Mineral Molasses Block (UMMB)

UMMB is a strategic feed supplement for ruminants which provides a constant source of fermentable nitrogen throughout the day to promote growth of rumen microbes.

UMMB can be an important source of supplement for ruminant animals to increase feed intake and productivity. This supplemental feed resource is rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. 

Microbial protein can contribute 30–40 percent of crude protein requirement of an animal. As ruminants can produce microbial protein from non-protein nitrogen, UMMB supplementation in the ration is quite beneficial, especially when fed crop-residue-based diets.

How to make Urea Mineral Molasses Block /UMMB:

UMMB is made from different ingredients where each has its own contribution in the mixture. It is usually made up of molasses, urea, cement, wheat bran, salt and water which are mixed and processed to form a block. Molasses provides energy and minerals. It increases its intake by the animal. 

Urea is a non-protein nitrogen source which is essential to improve the digestibility of the feed by providing fermentable nitrogen to rumen microbes. Cereal bran is the most common fibrous feed used and provides energy and helps hold the block together. Salt is added to the blocks to supply minerals and to control the rate of consumption. Cement is used to make the block. It makes the block hard and provides calcium. 

Procedures of UMMB Production:

Urea Molasses Multi-Nutrient Block can be manufactured on the farm. UMMB manufacture is easy and simple and can be afforded by small-holder farmers and commercial producers. Different methods exist which may be used according to local conditions. The manufacturing of UMMB can be divided into four stages as follows 

i). Preparation of the ingredients:

The amount of the different ingredients needed to make the UMMB depends on the size of the block to be manufactured and the formula to be used. UMMB with different weight/size can be prepared (1kg, 5kg, 10kg etc).

Ingredients Percentage % Inclusion ration
Molasses
36%
5.4 Kg
Rice bran
38%
5.7 Kg
Urea
10%
1.5 Kg 
Cement 
8%
1.2 Kg
Salt
2%
300 g
DCP
2%
300 g 
Trace minerals
0.1%
150 g
Water
4%
600 g
Total
100%
15 Kg

ii). Weighing and mixing of ingredients:

Before starting production of UMMB preparation of the necessary ingredients is necessary . Thorough mixing is a key for good UMMB making. Urea must be mixed thoroughly by breaking up lumps to avoid pockets of high concentration that could harm animals. 

Do the following to mix the ingredients. 

i). Weigh the amount of ingredients based on the proportion of the block.

ii). Add urea to the water and mix/stirring continuously until the urea grains completely dissolve in water and add salt at that point it dissolves instantly.  

iii). Now, weigh the molasses and add the first mixture (Water + Salt + Urea) to it. 

iv). The molasses can be heated in the sun to improve handling and mixing;  

v). Never add too much water to molasses. It must be thick. 

vi). Similarly, add DCP, mineral mixture and cement in it one by one while stir continuously. 

vii). After mixing the two mixtures (molasses & urea mixture and salt & cement mixture) together, little by little Rice bran will be added to it and thoroughly mix until the final mixture has a dough texture. 

iii). Casting and Molds:

Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and homogenous mixture formed, place the mixture into molds. Any local container, such as tin cans or small buckets can be used as a mold. Using a plastic sheet to line the molds will make block removal from the mold easier. The size of the mold to be used depends on the size of UMMB to be manufactured.  

For example, to manufacture 5kg of UMMB we can use rectangular wooden frames of 30*20*20 cm depth, length and width, respectively. Compaction will be applied using a wooden bar or press manually by hand. After this process the block will be left in the mold until it maintains a proper shape. 

iv). Drying:

After the removal of block from the mold. The UMMB will be left to dry in a well-ventilated room under the shade for about 5 days depending upon the weather condition, after which it will be ready for feeding animals. 

UMMB

Characteristics of a good Urea Molasses Multi-Nutrient Block:

A block is considered to be good when it fulfils the following characteristics  

i). Ingredients are well – distributed throughout the block. 

ii). It does not have lumps of urea.

iii). It is hard enough not to be squashed between our fingers and should be resistant enough not to break when a person steps on it. 

iv). Our hands should feel the sticky molasses when we hold the block. 

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