Supplementation of Dairy Cows with Nitrogen Molasses Mineral Blocks and Molasses Urea Mix during the Dry Season

  • Plaizier, J.C.B. (Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph) ;
  • Nkya, R. (Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Shem, M.N. (Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Urio, N.A. (Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • McBride, B.W. (Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph)
  • Received : 1998.06.12
  • Accepted : 1998.08.31
  • Published : 1999.08.01


The effects of supplementation with nitrogen molasses mineral blocks and molasses urea mix during and immediately prior to the dry season on the production of dairy cows were studied on-station and on-farm near Morogoro, Tanzania. Supplementation of blocks to on-station cows also receiving ad libitum grass hay and 6 kg/d of maize bran increased milk production from 6.7 L/d to 11.2 L/d (p<0.05), increased dry matter intake from 10.1 kg/d to 12.0 kg/d (p<0.05), but did not significantly affect milk composition, intake of hay, and live weight changes. This increase in milk yield is mainly explained by increased intakes of energy and nitrogen. Supplementation with the molasses urea mix increased daily milk yield from 6.7 L/d to 8.8 L/d (p<0.05), but did not significantly affect the other measured production parameters. The on-farm supplementation of the blocks increased daily milk yield by 1.5 L/d in the dry season (p<0.05). This supplementation did not increase milk yields prior to the dry season, since quality forage was still available. Taking the production costs into account, supplementation with the blocks and supplementation with mix were cost effective if milk yields increased by 0.7 L/d. Hence supplementation with blocks and supplementation with mix were effective on-station, and supplementation with blocks was cost effective on-farm during the dry season.


Dairy Cattle;Nutrition;Dry Season;Urea;Molasses

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