Last update: March 30, 2012 03:29:50 PM E-mail Print

 

ALTERNATIVE ALKALI FOR CHOCOLATE MEALIE

 

D Wentzel

 

 

Although the concept of the so-called chocolate mealie has found widespread application for supplementing or fattening of small stock, there is a practical drawback, which farmers have to contend with when it comes to the actual mixing of the ingredients of this feedstuff.

Caustic soda, which is used in the preparation of chocolate mealies, is at present supplied as a highly concentrated solution and, owing to its corrosive action, presents a considerable danger to those persons who work with it.

To find alternatives for caustic soda, several trials were conducted by the Animal Production Research Section at the Grootfontein College of Agriculture. According to Dr Danie Wentzel, who led this research, the most promising alternative for caustic soda, which should have no detrimental side effects, is slaked lime.

Dr Wentzel says the use of approximately 2 % slaked lime has proved to be as efficient as caustic soda for the preparation of chocolate mealies. The process of mixing is facilitated considerably-by the elimination of the risk factor. In addition the calcium:phosphorus imbalance found in mealies is corrected by the use of slaked lime.

Although these experiments have confirmed the efficiency of slaked lime for the control of acidosis, further experiments are being carried out to investigate all aspects relating to digestion.

The recipe used in Dr. Wentzel's experiments is the following:

70 kg mealies,

5 l water,

7 kg lick concentrate,

12 g Bovatec or Romensin, and

1,5 kg slaked lime.

After wetting the mealies with the water the three latter ingredients, which were mixed together separately, were added to the mealies and mixed in thoroughly.

Special note must be taken, says Dr Wentzel, that slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) differs greatly from feed lime (calcium carbonate), which proved inefficient for this purpose. These two substances must therefore not be confused.

 

Published

Karoo Regional Newsletter Winter 1982