By JAMES TABABA
UMMB or Urea Molasses Mineral Block is a type of supplemental block used in livestock feeding. It is designed to provide essential nutrients and improve the overall nutrition of goats, sheep, or cattle. UMMB increases the ability to dissolve grass fibers and other feed consumed by the animals. The presence of urea aids in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates in the rumen, a stomach compartment of goats, sheep, and cattle, improving their digestibility and nutrient utilization. The combination of molasses and other palatable ingredients makes the blocks attractive to animals, encouraging them to consume the supplemental feed willingly. It also provides a concentrated source of energy through the inclusion of molasses and other carbohydrates.
To create UMMB, use the following ingredients and their respective proportions: 50% Molasses, 10% Urea, 5% Salt, 10% Cement, and 25% Rice Bran.
- Gather the Ingredients and Equipment: Collect all the necessary ingredients and equipment before you begin the preparation process. You will need molasses, urea, salt, cement, rice bran, water, a mixing container, a weighing scale, mixing utensils, and molds for shaping the blocks.
- Measure and Weigh the Ingredients: Measure and weigh each ingredient using the given proportions. For example, you can measure 5 kilograms of molasses, 1 kg of urea, 0.5 kg of salt, 1 kg of cement, and 2.5 kg of rice bran. Adjust the quantities accordingly based on the desired batch size.
- Mix the Ingredients. In a mixing container, combine the measured amounts of urea and salt. Add a little bit of water to help dissolve the salts. Mix well until the urea and salt are dissolved. Gradually add the molasses to the mixture. Continuously mix the ingredients to ensure thorough distribution. Once the molasses is well-incorporated, add the cement or limestone. Continue mixing the ingredients to achieve a homogeneous mixture. Finally, add the rice bran to the mixture. Ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined to create a consistent blend.
- Formation of UMMB Blocks: Once the ingredients are well-mixed, transfer the mixture into molds. Press the mixture firmly into the molds to remove any air pockets and ensure the blocks have a uniform shape. Rectangular or cylindrical molds can be used based on preference and availability.
- Cure and Dry: After shaping the blocks, allow them to cure and dry. Place the blocks in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Curing is crucial for the blocks to gain strength and stability. Regularly check the blocks for any signs of spoilage or undesirable odors during the curing process.
- Storage and Usage: Once the UMMB blocks are fully cured and dried, they are ready for storage and usage. Store the blocks in a cool, dry place to prevent spoilage. Ensure they are protected from moisture, as excessive dampness can cause the blocks to deteriorate. Place the UMMB blocks in areas where livestock can easily access them.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not give UMMB to animals younger than six months of age or to pregnant animals in their last trimester of pregnancy. Young animals may not have fully developed rumen function, and pregnant animals have specific nutritional requirements that may differ from those provided by UMMB.
Avoid giving UMMB to animals when they are hungry or when there is no drinking water available. Animals should have access to their regular feed and fresh water before consuming UMMB. This ensures a balanced diet and adequate hydration
Lastly, be vigilant for symptoms of poisoning and take appropriate action. Symptoms may include excessive salivation, difficulty in breathing, bloating, or other abnormal behavior. If these symptoms occur, contact a veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The formulation used was derived from the recommended guidelines of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).