Optimised Ash Based Beef Cattle Mineral and Vitamin Block Lick for Free Choice Feeding

Optimised Ash Based Beef Cattle Mineral and Vitamin Block Lick for Free Choice Feeding

 

Background

Minerals and vitamins are often ignored functional nutrients for grazing cattle especially in smallholder farming areas. Most minerals on the market are in powder form and difficult to administer in rural communities without causing losses and toxicity problems. Therefore, fabrication of a block which the animals can safely consume free-choice by licking is highly beneficial for efficient beef production. Feed grade ash from completely combusted biomass (e.g. from tobacco curing rocket stoves, homestead fires and combusted timber briquettes) has valuable basal minerals that are cheap sources of feed additives if optimised through computer aided formulation and used sustainably. The

 

Project Involves

  • Development of an ash based mineral — vitamin block lick optimised by linear programming for deficient minerals made palatable due to the inclusion of molasses as a natural attractant.
  • Extensive animal response trials culminating in a registered beef mineral — vitamin block lick for summer and winter grazing.
  • Producing, selling and awareness campaigns through existing distribution networks that ensure that a balanced product in terms of nutritional value is provided to communities.

 

Impact

The block lick is hard enough to be licked over many months and can be placed on the ground near watering points for convenient supplementation of minerals and vitamin A, D and E, thus correcting mineral and vitamin imbalances in grazing beef cattle. This product will result in better economic returns benefiting especially small and medium scale cattle farmers. This project will also contribute to capacity building through student, academic staff and farmer training.  

 

Project Team

Prof Irvin DT Mpofu

Principal Investigator

Chinhoyi University of Technology – Zimbabwe

impofu66@yahoo.com

 

Prof J Mupangwa

Co-Principal Investigator

University of Fort Hare – South Africa

tjmupangwa@yahoo.com

 

Prof Zororo Muranda

Business Expert

Chinhoyi University of Technology – Zimbabwe

zmuranda@cut.ac.zw

 

Dr James Madzimure

Expert in Animal Response Trials

Chinhoyi University of Technology – Zimbabwe

madzimurej@gmail.com

 

Dr Nothando Msipah

Business Expert

Chinhoyi University of Technology – Zimbabwe

nmsipah@gmail.com

 

Dr A. Taruvinga

Main Business Expert

University of Fort Hare – South Africa

ataruvinga@ufh.ac.za

 

Commercial Partners

Capital Foods in Zimbabwe Agripark — University of Fort Hare in South Africa

Project Type

Seed project

Countries involved

Status

Ongoing