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Palm kernel
cake (PKC) is a standard part of the diet
for sheep. The nutritive value of PKC is in supplying protein to sheep and other
cud-chewing (ruminant) livestock. The chemical composition of PKC is very similar to that of corn gluten or rice bran. The protein
content of PKC is considered sufficient
to meet the requirements of most ruminants.
However, the copper content of PKC is 21-28
ppm and is much higher than that required
by sheep and cattle. In fact, diets containing PKC above 50% causes the
animals to develop a high accumulation of copper in the liver if fed PKC for too long. The result is the development of copper toxicity symptoms. Sodium Molybdate has been
proven to mitigate that toxicity in controlled studies.


The Details of Copper Toxicity in Sheep

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nutritional value of PKC to the diet of sheep is a decisive factor in getting the right proteins into the animals.
Thus, experimentation to counter the effects of high copper toxicity were
necessary. The objective was to find a chelating or sequestering agent that
would bond with the copper ions, allowing them to be excreted and removed from
the body. In this study (Yusoff, 1995), the objective was to determine the
safety of a high PKC diet using a Sodium Molybdate chelating agent to protect
against copper toxicity. Various percentages of PKC ranging from 30 to 100
percent of the diet were fed to different control groups of
animals. All control groups experienced a high average daily gain (ADG),
proving the value of the PKC to the sheep’s
diet. However, the control group that was fed
a 100% PKC mixture absent any chelating agents began to exhibit copper toxicity
symptoms. Three animals died, proving that copper toxicity must be protected against to ensure the survival of
the animals. A second experiment was conducted
under similar conditions of a PKC diet but with the addition of Sodium
Molybdate as a chelating agent. All groups, including the 100% PKC diet group,
did not show any ill effects of copper toxicity.


The outcome of
this Malaysian study established a method to produce the livestock locally and more
cheaply j1 than importing the foodstuffs and gain
all the benefits of a high percentage PKC diet. The comparisons were
significant using the Sodium Molybdate (MO) feed additive. Sheep and lambs
without the MO additive had to be given
the lower percentage PKC diet and experienced an ADG of only 23.95 grams. Sheep
and lambs feed with the MO chelating
agent in a 100% PKC diet experienced an ADG in
the 46.82 to 75.14 grams with no copper toxicity symptoms.




Similar Studies for Cows


This study (PL Morgan, 2014), examined the case
of a herd of 350 cows and 70 heifers that suddenly ceased milking. Over a nine-month period, the cows had received a high
percentage palm kernel expeller (PKE) diet with additional copper content
provided through the watering system. On average, each cow’s total intake of
copper (CU) was 400mg/cow/day.


Half of the
cows died suddenly and exhibited high CU concentrations in both the liver (3900
micromoles /kg) and kidneys (440 micromoles/kg). Copper toxicity was determined to be
the cause of death.


The surviving group of animals was fed 200 mg of Sodium Molybdate
per cow per day with all CU supplements removed from the diet other than the
PKE. Over a four week period, the reduction of the copper concentration was
dramatic, going from 3900 to 1320 micromoles/kg in the liver with no further
animal deaths, proving that Sodium Molybdate is an effective chelating agent to
prevent copper toxicity.


a Competitive and Reliable Supplier for


North Metal and Chemical Company is
one of the few U.S. Manufacturers of Sodium Molybdate with volume capability to
supply the ranching, agriculture, dietary supplement,
and fertilizer industry demand
adequately. The
most critical use of molybdates for human health and the health of the food ecosystem that provides the minerals necessary to
maintain that health is as a cofactor agent in creating the body enzymes that
support efficient metabolic function. j2 


Other products and processes which utilize molybdates include hydraulic
and metalworking fluids, temporary rust-preventive coatings, pitting inhibitor
for stainless steels in mineral acids, passivation treatments for galvanized
zinc and tin plate, rinses for phosphate conversion coating, aluminum anodizing
processes, hot forging lubricants, boiler waters, engine coolants, as well as
many others.

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