Fortified molasses supplements for sheep

Molasses is one of the cheapest sources of energy for sheep, but it requires protein to make it more nutritionally balanced. The main disadvantages of molasses are that it is difficult to store, handle and mix unless you are well set up and the molasses is handled in bulk.

When on molasses based supplements, sheep should always have access to roughage to prevent digestive upsets. Remember, the molasses can cover sheep's wool, which will have to be removed at shearing if the molasses is not washed out by rain.

Molasses for older stock

An 8% protein meal/molasses mix (25kg meal: 200L of molasses) is suitable for maintenance of older stock.

Molasses for weaners and poor stock

A 16% protein meal/molasses mix (50kg meal: 200L molasses) is suitable for weaners and poor stock.

Adding urea to molasses

You can add 1.5% urea (thoroughly dissolved) to the mix to improve the protein content and still keep it relatively safe (5 kg: 200L of molasses).

Feeding molasses in open troughs

Below is a recipe for fortified molasses, to be fed in open troughs.

M 1.5U 8PM:M8U:
  kg % kg %
Molasses 270 90.5 270 92
Urea 5 1.5 23 8
Protein meal 25 8 - -
  300   293  

Key:
M1.5U8Pm = molasses + 1.5% urea = 8% protein meal by weight
M8U = molasses + 8% urea by weight (sour taste controls intake)
One litre of molasses weighs 1.3-1.4 kg and 200 litres weighs approx 270 kg

Feeding molasses in a roller drum

Below is a recipe for a molasses mix, to be fed in a roller drum.

Days 1 to 3 4 to 7 8 to 14 14 plus
  Starter mix (litres) Build up (litres) Build up (litres) Final mix (litres)
Water 100 100 125 150
Molasses 100 100 100 50
Urea 0 5 kg 10 kg 20 kg
Urea (%) 0 2 3.7 8.5

Note: The urea must be completely dissolved and stock must not have direct access to the mix.

In the event of rain causing the stock to leave the feeders for a few days, reduce the urea in the mix for a day or 2. Do not let the roller drums become empty.

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