Urea Feeding Information
WHY FEED UREA?
Urea maximises the benefits of poor-quality grazing by optimising digestion. The aim is to improve the rumen function and therefore the animal’s performance.
Rumen microbes use nitrogen from the urea as the building block to produce protein. Once consumed the urea converts to ammonia in the rumen, where the rumen micro flora synthesise protein. The protein then becomes available to the animal in the normal process of digestion and absorption.
Blocks that contain urea can be used effectively in paddock management. Blocks can be placed in under utilised areas of the paddock, as licking the blocks will result in increased appetite and a willingness to consume from all areas.
BEST PRACTICE FOR INTRODUCING BLOCKS WITH UREA:
Ensure dry feed is available in the paddock.
Provide Olsson’s blocks with trace minerals before placing out urea blocks. This will help minimise consumption, as mineral requirements will already be met.
Introduce low level urea blocks first. When the animal’s targeted rumen micro flora have built up and appetite has increased, higher urea blocks can be introduced (and are more cost effective). Higher urea blocks such as 20% can be used at the start of the season if the steps above have been taken.
Do not let the blocks run out then replace days later. With the use of urea blocks the micro flora has been built up. By going days without urea the micro flora will need to build up again, resulting in the loss of production.
Provide enough blocks to avoid overcrowding.
Place out high sulphur blocks with the urea blocks at a ratio of 6 urea to 1 high sulphur to make the best use of your urea block.
ON FARM UREA FEEDING FAQ:
When should I use urea blocks?
When dry feed becomes available.
Where should I place the blocks?
Ideally under shade and away from watering points (up to 200 metres).
What animals can have urea based blocks?
Cattle, sheep, alpacas, goats.
Should I remove blocks if rainstorms have been through?
The blocks stand up well to rainfall, however it is important not to allow puddles or pools of water in or around blocks.
Can my young stock consume urea blocks (calves or lambs)?
Yes, the young animals will lick very little of these blocks in the early stages of life.
Can I put urea based blocks in troughs?
As a general rule no, unless trough is very well drained and covered.
Should I use a molasses block or a salt block?
Olssons salt blocks are fantastic way of minimising consumption. However, the molasses-based blocks provide an extra boost of energy as the available feed declines. Molasses blocks also work well in areas with high sodium, such as coastal plains.
I have a farm with different animals. What should I use?
Olssons have a wide range of blocks available with and without urea. On a hobby farm blocks with NO urea would be recommended.