Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks

Written by Beatrice Wendoh.

Urea Molasses Mineral Block

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Adding Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks (UMMB) to an animal’s diet can increase the total amount of nutrition the animal receives by up to 30%. Even when cultivating your own forages, it can be difficult to provide dairy cattle with all of the nutrients required by farm animals necessary for them to stay healthy and

produce high-quality milk. Sometimes this is because the forages do not contain all of the nutrients the animal requires. Other times, it is because the animal has difficulty digesting the forages, reducing the amount of nutrition the animal actually receives.

Supplementing an animal’s diet with urea mineral molasses blocks (UMMB) can provide them with additional nutrients and help them to digest other feeds more effectively. 

Ingredients for making Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks

  1. Molasses: gives the UMMB a sweet taste, making it appealing to animals. It also provides energy and other nutrients like sulfur. A UMMB should not contain more than 40–50% molasses or it will break too easily and take too long to dry.
  2. Urea: improves digestibility and provides additional protein. The amount of urea should be limited to 10% to avoid poisoning.
  3. Fibrous cereals or forages (bran, finely chopped hay): provide nutrients and help to hold the block together. Cereal bran is the most common ingredient in UMMBs, though finely chopped hay, finely ground leaves from leguminous shrubs or cotton seed cake can also be used.
  4. Salt: supply minerals and control the rate of consumption. Salt should make up no more than 5–10% of a UMMB.
  5. Minerals (e.g., calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate): provide additional calcium and phosphorus
  6. Cement: used to make the block hard. A UMMB should only contain about 5–10% cement, otherwise the block will become too hard for the animal to eat. Clay (the type used in brick making) can be mixed with the cement to improve hardness, reduce drying time and reduce the overall cost for making a block.

Steps in making Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks

Step1: Preparation of Ingredients

Step2: Mixing

Mixing the ingredients well is the key for making good UMMBs. You need to mix the urea thoroughly and break up any lumps, otherwise there will be pockets of highly concentrated urea that could harm animals. When mixing ingredients, you should:

Step3: Moulding

Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, place the mixture into a mould. You can use any local container as a mould, such as cardboard box or a bucket. 
You can line the mould with a plastic sheet to make it easier to remove the finished UMMB.

Characteristics of a well-made Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks

A block is considered to be of good quality when:

Feeding Urea Molasses Mineral Blocks to animals