|Zeolite: for the use as a Rumen Buffer Webster Dairy Farm ( Idaho)
Dennis Webster operates a small dairy farm near Preston Idaho. He milks 40 Holstein
cows that average three to four years in age (third lactation). The cows are sold when
they are between their fourth and fifth lactation. He has not purchased any replacement
calves for more than 10 years. He feeds primarily barley and corn with some beet pulp for
roughage. The hay is kept dry, and he does not use a chopping wagon. The cows
average approximately 75 pounds of milk per day per head. A yearly average per cow
would be approximately 14,000 pounds of milk. The somatic cell count of the milk is in the
range of 100,000 to 150,000. The buyer pays a bonus of $.30 per hundred if the count is
less than 100,000, $.20 if it is 100,000 to 200,000, $.10 if it is 200,000 to 300,000, nothing
if it is 300,000 to 400,000, and is docked if the count is more than 400,000.
Test to Determine if Zeolite Can Be Substituted for Sodium Bicarbonate
Initially the cows were allowed to free choice sodium chloride, dicalcium
phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate each placed in half of a 55-gallon plastic
drum. The salt consumption was approximately 50 pounds in two weeks, the
dicalcium phosphate was approximately 50 pounds in two weeks, and the sodium
bicarbonate was approximately 50 pounds per week. Two years ago, minus 40
mesh Zeolite was introduced in half of a 55-gallon drum. The cows began eating
the Zeolite rather than the sodium bicarbonate. The sodium bicarbonate became
hard after several months, and after six months the sodium bicarbonate was
removed completely. For one and a half years the cows have ate the Zeolite with
no sodium bicarbonate. At a later date it was noticed that the cows seemed to
prefer minus 100 mesh Zeolite more than the minus 40 mesh. They will lick the
barrel clean with minus 100 mesh. When fed the minus 40 mesh, they would
leave a small amount in the drum. Should the drum run out, up to 10 cows will
stand around the empty drum. When filled they each take a large mouth full and
The use of Zeolite as a replacement for sodium bicarbonate as a rumen buffer
has been known for years. Some producers of Zeolite have also included up to
50% by weight of dolomite (calcium-magnesium carbonate) with the Zeolite. The
advantages of using Zeolite over sodium bicarbonate include better economics,
odour control, increased feed efficiency, better retention of the nitrogen in the
fertilizer, less sodium delivered to the pasture, less scours, and possible mico-
Results from Slovakian Hog Production
The supplementation of Zeolite resulted in a reduction in the amount of feed
consumed per kilogram of weight gain. A reduction of about 10% was recorded.
Experimental Group (Zeolite) Control Group
Weight Gain (kg/day) Feed Conversion (kg/kg) Weight Gain (kg/day) Feed Conversion
Farm 1 0.639 3.51 0.655 3.93
Farm 2 0.589 3.83 0.565 4.16
Using Zeolite in Chicken Operations
Using Zeolite found that Leghorn chickens required less food and water and still
gained as much weight in a 2-week trial as birds receiving a control diet. Feed
efficiency values (FEV) were markedly higher at all levels of Zeolite substitution.
Feedstuffs containing Zeolite gave rise to efficiencies more than 20 percent
greater than those of normal rations (Table 1). The droppings of groups receiving
Zeolite diets contained up to 25 percent less moisture than those of control
In addition to a feed-efficiency increase, the presence of Zeolite in the diet
appears to have had a favorable effect on the mortality of the birds.
Table 1 - Caloric Efficiencies of Zeolite Supplements in Poultry Feed
Tests were carried out on 48-day-old Leghorns over a 14-day period, 30 birds/group. Normal rations consisted of 16.5% crude Protein and 66% digestible nutrients.
USE of NATURAL ZEOLITES in FEEDING SAKHA HORSES – A STUDY
The purpose of the following paper is to study the influence of additions of natural
zeolites to the diet on the growth of young horses during the autumn and winter
The first experiment was preformed with Yakutian (Sakha) horses at 1.5 years of
age. Thirty horses were divided into two subgroups according to weight, sex and
age. Initially, the average weight of the horse in the Control Group #1 was 244
kg. The duration of the experiment was 45 days and the diet consisted of 10 kg
of hay and 5 kg of oats. A natural Zeolite (clinoptilolite) was added to the food of
The second experiment was performed with horses at an age of 11 months which
were combined in two groups (with 6 horses in each) kept in different enclosures.
The basic diet consisted of 5 kg of hay and 2 kg of oats. The foals in the
experimental group received 70 g of Zeolite per head daily within the basic diet.
On Day 30 of the experiment 3 foals from each group were taken to control the
digestion. The control methodology was the usual one for big domestic animals.
The duration of the registration period was 6 days.
Results & Discussion
At the end of the first experiment the foals from Group #2 (Experimental group)
weighed 5 kg more than the foals in Group #1 (Control Group). The daily
increase was 200 g (15% more than in the Control Group). The actual
consumption calculated by the expenditures of fodder units per kg of increase
was 6.3 fodder units in the Control Group and 5.5 fodder units in Group #2,
hence to enjoy a 1 kg weight increase the animals spent 12.7% less nutrient
energy. Note that large differences in the contents of common protein and its
fractions in the blood serum of the horses in each group were not registered.
Also, the differences in the urea and residual nitrogen contents were also not
These results reveal that the addition of a Zeolite does not cause any special
changes in protein exchange (see Table 1).
Table 1 Sugar Content and Nitrogen-Containing Compounds in the Blood Serum
Group Period Sugars, l% Urea Residual Nitrogen
Control Beginning 16.2 ± 1.1 25.8 ± 0.2 22.9 ± 0.5
End 15.2 ± 1.0 30.2 ± 0.8 25.1 ± .04
Experimental (Zeolite) Beginning 15.3 ± .08 27.6 ± 0.9 23.8 ± 0.5
End 22.0 ± 0.3 31.2 ± 2.0 25.0 ± 1.0
Table 1 reveals that the blood sugar content of the experimental horses is 45% higher. This is evident of
a high rate of metabolism.
Table 2 Identical Forage Examples to Consumed and Digestion Coefficients
Menu Group Dry substances Raw protein Raw grease Raw cell material
Hay - 11.7 39.2 1.49
Oats - 14.3 14.1 2.93
Controlled 60.2 ± 1.6 61.3 ± 1.6 46.3 ± 2.2 45.3 ± 2.2
Experimental 65.3 ± 0.3 60.1 ± 0.3 67.8 ± 1.7 45.5 ± 0.6
Table 2 indicates the addition of 70g of Zeolite to the diet of young horses
considerably improves the nutrients’ digestion. The Experimental Group (Group
#2) revealed that the amount of the exchange energy in the consumed food
calculated by a regression equation was equal to 59.9 MJ, thus showing a 4.1
MJ increase (6.8%).
These experimental results confirm a direct influence of Zeolite additions to
fodder on the exchange processes in the organisms of Sakha horses.
The Use of Zeolite for Residual Water Treatment
Author: Alejandro Ruiz Quintanar, Oceanographer
Corporation: Alimentos Concentrados, Ensenada, Baja CFA., Mexico
Date: November 5, 2002
Due to the requirements from the Authority of Contamination Control in Ensenada,
Baja California, to dispose of our liquid residues to the industrial drainage, and
being a company dedicated to produce flour, oil and concentrated fish soluble,
we had to implement different methods or steps to remove solids from thick to
fine in order to leave water completely translucent.
It is at this point that an existent portion of the process that cannot be removed
by conventional methods of filtration or flocculation, because this portion of the
product is so fine that is specially difficult and it takes a long time to remove.
We decided to test zeolite to assure ourselves that the liquids we were sending
out met the required norms for the State Commission of Public Services of
The results obtained are as follow.
• We were able to reduce 26% to 36% of the BOD and, as mentioned above, it is highly
difficult to lower this parameter. As it is known, the more you process any liquid, the
percentage of reduction is lower if you maintain the other variables.
Along with obtaining the parameters requested by conventional discharge methods the
reason for testing this mineral is to try and obtain a quality of water that can be reused for
mere industrial purposes.
As the responsible person for disposal of residues, both liquids and solids for this
company and from my professional point of view I can recommend the use of this mineral
for treatment of residual waters for reuse and recycling.:
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