24.0 THE ECONOMIC AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF FEED BLOCKS, AS COMPARED TO MULTIMINERAL SALT BLOCKS

24.1 Feed blocks are simple to make locally and at low-cost:

The cost of feedblocks, considering formula F I which was successfully tested in Samoa [1997] and taking account cost of ingredients plus those for manufacturing the blocks, is as follows:

Table 17. Cost of feed blocks in Western Samoa block (1 US$ Dollar = 2.5 W$T, September 1997).

Ingredients

Composition per 100 kg of mixture

Price per kg (WST$/kg) Sept, 1997

Contribution to total cost (WST$)

Copra meal

45

0.15

6.8

Molasses

20

0.20

4

Cement

15

0.64

9.6

Urea

10

2.00

20

Salt

10

0.60

6

TOTAL

100

46.4

 

(i) Feed blocks cost only 0.464 WST$ per Kg

(ii) The mixture of 10 kg to produce one strongly compacted block using the wood made cubic mould (20 x 20 x 20 cm) cost 4.46 WST$ per 10 kg of blocks. With a daily average intake of 350 g per cow -one block is sufficient to feed a cow for approximately one month-therefore the cost of daily supplementation is 0.162 WST$. This is equivalent to 0.065 litres of milk (at 2.5 WST$/litre).

(iii) Imported multimineral salt blocks are very expensive when compared to feed blocks; sale price is

2.75 WST$/ kg ( 49.5 WST$ I Block of I 8 kg of salt block), which is 6 times the cost of feed block production based on the ingredient's price.

24.2 Feed blocks are more advantageously nutritional than salt blocks:

The effectiveness of blocks for dairy business is much higher than imported multimineral salt blocks.

Salt blocks are composed of salts (80% is common slat, sodium chloride ). whereas feed blocks are a source of nitrogen, energy and minerals, aiming to ensure intake increase and efficiency of digestive utilisation of pasture and poor quality-forage.