1. Details of Trials
A summary of some zeolite trials with ruminants, together with the specific references is
provided in Attachment 1: “NuFeed Performance Trials for Ruminants“.
Consultants reported in a local feedlot trial where NuFeed was incorporated in the ration at
2.5% and the area of investigation related to environmental issues. It was found:
- Control pens had levels of airborne ammonia up to three times higher than the
NuFeed fed cattle.
- Salt level in the manure was greatly reduced.
- Nitrogen level in the manure waste was higher, providing better fertiliser value.
2. Binding of Mycotoxins with NuFeed
Results of the types of toxins bound by NuFeed as reported in numerous studies is provided
in Attachment 2: “Binding of Mycotoxins with NuFeed“.
In summary terms, mycotoxins are bound on to the NuFeed exchange sites and taken out of
the animal’s system. Improvements are regularly reported in reduced scouring in young
animals and improved feed conversion in the known presence of various toxins.
3. Availability of ammonium once it is attached to the NuFeed in the rumen?
The question is often raised whether the ammonium was bound on to the NuFeed or was
subsequently available to the animal or simply passed out of the system.
The ammonium is not locked-away, but is released through the regenerative action of saliva
entering the rumen, and thereby becomes available for rumen micro-organisms to
Refer to the two references in Attachment 3: “Capture and Release of Ammonia in the
Rumen” and “NuFeed and Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) Supplements”
4. If the ammonium sites are taken up, are there still sites for acid cation-exchange (acidosis)?
Yes, individual sites are available for ion-exchange depending on the concentration gradients
of surrounding cations.
5. Are the exchanged cations (minerals within NuFeed) available to the animal?
The exchanged cations released in the rumen are available for assimilation by the animal.
The Ca component of the CEC is 85 meq/100g which converts to 170 mg/L and the Mg
component of the CEC is 18meq/100g, converting to 21.6 mg/L.
Therefore, the concentration of Ca ion available would be about eight times that of Mg. These
values however would only be realised if all the available sites were exchanged with other
ions which is unlikely in practice.
6. What are the reasons for the replacement of bentonite with NuFeed?
The most common reasons cited by users for the replacement of bentonite with NuFeed are:
- Superior buffering capacity
- More favourable sodium status (reduced sodium levels)
- Selective ammonium uptake
These issues are discussed in Attachment 4: “NuFeed as a replacement for Bentonite”
7. In what form has NuFeed been applied to cattle feed?
NuFeed is applied or utilised in a variety of forms depending on the type of feed provided to
the animal. NuFeed is incorporated in a range of feeds including loose feed, blocks, licks and
pelletised feed. In these diverse applications, the NuFeed has varied from being supplied in
finely powdered form, as a grit (-0.5mm) or in a finely granulated form.
The finer the particle, the greater the surface area of the NuFeed. This provides an
enhancement of some of its properties but this is often traded off in terms of the ease of
handling or incorporation of the finely granulated product. NuFeed is being utilised in
pelletised feeds, but this is carried out by other parties, and we have not been able to obtain
specific information on the composition of the pellets or the performance of the pelletising
8. When customers incorporate NuFeed in the diet, what does NuFeed replace?
There is no single answer, as the NuFeed application and rationale for use varies. Each user
has their own proprietary feed formula, so the NuFeed component varies greatly.
Customer responses include, a proportionate reduction in other feed components to allow for
NuFeed incorporation and often result in reduced costs, by replacement of bentonite and
sodium bicarbonate or a reduction in lime and grain to allow for NuFeed inclusion.