How is molasses used in animal feed production?

Hi Everyone! Great site!

I am doing a project for school and need to know how is molasses used in animal feed production?

Would appreciate any help, Thanks!


  • Molasses-based feeds for pigs and cattle have been common since the late 1960s. They are particularly useful in tropical regions, where sugarcane grows more effectively than many grains, and during droughts.

    Molasses is a liquid by-product of the sugar industry, and may come from sugar cane, corn, sugar beets and even wood. Liquid molasses is combined with an absorbent carrier material, such as soybean hulls, then dried. The result is easier to transport and use as a feed ingredient than the original wet molasses. Farmers may also purchase wet molasses by the drum and provide it in open troughs.

    Molasses-based feeds are low in phosphorus. Animals living in areas where natural grazing and browsing does not provide their phosphorus requirements should receive dicalcium or monocalcium phosphate supplements at a ratio of one to two percent of the molasses weight. Phosphate fertilizers, such as monoammonium phosphate and diammonium phosphate, are not appropriate for use in animal feed, as they may cause fluorine poisoning.

    When molasses makes up more than 20 percent of an animal's diet, it may suffer from a depressed ability to digest other feed. This can be a serious problem when the remainder of the feed is mostly cell-wall carbohydrate, such as grass. Animals eating more than 20 percent molasses should receive more fat, protein or starch-based feed to prevent carbohydrate competition in the stomach.

    Some farmers in tropical regions, where sugar cane is frequently grown, have attempted to substitute whole sugar cane for molasses feed. Unfortunately, the slow rate at which sugar cane digests makes it a poor choice. Animals eat less when fed on sugar cane and have less efficient digestion. Sugar cane juice combined with sunflower meal, however, performs similarly to molasses.
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