Australian Zeolite - A Stockfeed Success Story

What is Natural Australian Zeolite?

Mined at Werris Creek Natural Australian Zeolite was formed in a freshwater lake environment from ancient volcanic activity and contains predominantly Calcium and Magnesium ions. Some other Zeolites are formed in Marine or Brackish environments and contain predominantly Sodium ions. The actual crystal configuration is Clinoptilolite, which has been widely tested throughout the world and has been used in Animal Husbandry for many years. The research data has been accumulated from 1963 till the present. Natural Australian Zeolite is performing similarly to the overseas Zeolites in a wide range of applications.

Advantages of Natural Australian Zeolite in Feedlot & Stockfeed Applications:

  • Cost Effective - Feed Additive
    • Improved Rumen Microbial Activity
    • Reduced Acidosis (grain poisoning)
    • Increased binding of Aflatoxins
  • Replaces Sodium Bentonite as a Rumen Buffer
  • Feedlot Liquid Effluent Management
  • Feedlot Manures and Odour Control
    • Drier, less odorous feedlot wastes
    • More valuable organic fertiliser
    • Reduced salt levels in manure

Cost Effective Feed Additive

The application of ZEOLITE overseas has resulted in improved feed conversion and weight gains. During the eighties researchers using ZEOLITE in the range of 2.5% to 4% of a ration showed weight gains of up to 5% over the ‘control’ groups and feed reductions of between 3% and 5%.

In one overseas trial (6,000 steers) the ZEOLITE fed animals gained 143 grams/day more than the control group. This represented over 40kgs extra weight during the 280 day feed period.

Improved Weight Gains How?

Improved Rumen Microbial Activity
Some researchers suggest that dietary Natural Australian Zeolite, by maintaining a more effective rumen buffer and an improved electrolyte balance, enable the rumen microbial populations to increase to more productive levels and therefore increase dietary fibre utilisation.
Reduced Acidosis (grain poisoning)
The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of Natural Australian Zeoliteenables effective rumen buffering (pH) which can reduce the acidosis effects of excessive grain intake especially during the introductory phase of feedlot rations.
Increase binding of AFLATOXINS
Other researchers report the Natural Australian Zeolitebinds aflatoxins and protects livestock from their ill effects. This can be very important in farm-based feedlots where grain storage may not be perfect.
Increased UREA level in diet.
The ability of Natural Australian Zeolite to selectively absorb ammonium is reported to both reduce urea toxicity and improve rumen utilisation of urea supplied nitrogen. This is extremely important in farm-based feedlots where the cost of bought in protein supplements is very high and the safe utilisation of increased urea involves large cost savings.

A simple formula:

  • Increase 1% Urea in the diet (10kg/ton)
  • Include 2.5% Natural Australian Zeolite (25kg/ton)

Save $ ton on feed by supplying rumen microbes with some of their ammonium requirement as urea instead of expensive protein supplements (many of which are broken down to ammonium in any case).

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports that urea can substitute for much of the supplemental protein and is used most efficiently in high-energy (feedlot) diets.

Increased palatability of diet (Urea)
The porous Natural Australian Zeolite absorbs the ammonia associated with urea diets and therefore improves the palatability and intake of urea containing diets.
Increased Urea safety in diet
If you are one of many feedlotters or farmers who in the past have been reluctant to use Urea because of safety and palatability concerns, then using Natural Australian Zeolite can give you confidence to adopt this cost-saving measure.

Replace Sodium Bentonite and Rumen Buffers

Higher CEC- means more buffering
Bentonites are often used in farm-based feed-lots for their buffering capacity (CEC). The CEC of bentonites vary from 40 to 80 meq/100g. Comparably Natural Australian Zeolite has a CEC of about 120 meq/100g, much higher than the buffering capacity of Sodium Bentonite.
Alkaline NOT sodium buffering
Natural Australian Zeolite provides predominantly Calcium and Magnesium based buffering (both of which have beneficial nutrient properties) whilst Sodium Bentonite relies on Sodium as the buffering ion.

Since the Sodium status of effluent is recognised as a potential problem, the alternative use of Natural Australian Zeolite as a replacement for Sodium Bentonite is potentially beneficial to the environment as well as being a very cost effective rumen buffer (per unit of buffering.)

Natural Australian Zeolite has also performed comparably with other rumen buffers such as Sodium Bicarbonate at a fraction of the cost and without increasing the Sodium loading on the feedlot site.

Feedlot Liquid Effluent Management

Liquid Effluent is produced primarily from wet weather runoff. Continual urine production can add to the moisture of the pens.

Reduced Nitrogen in runoff.

Solids retention facilities on feedlot sites are generally adequate. The nutrient retention properties of Natural Australian Zeolite mean that in particular more of the valuable Nitrogen is trapped in the solid wastes where it can be used as a fertiliser instead of lost to the waterways where it may be a pollutant.

Natural Australian Zeolite contains predominantly Calcium and Magnesium as the exchangeable cations, the Sodium status of liquid effluent is also improved relative to other rumen buffers.

Feedlot Manures and Odour Control

One of the major by-products of the feedlot industry is animal waste in the form of manures, which can attract flies and produce odours.

Drier, less odorous feedlot wastes.
Natural Australian Zeolite has a twofold effect on reducing odour.

By being porous it:
  • absorbs gases (including Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulphide) as they are evolved from urine and manure breakdown in the pens.
  • absorbs water that results in a drier manure pad. Industry research shows that odour increases with humidity and by maintaining a drier pad, then feedlot odour is significantly reduced.
More valuable organic fertiliser
Reduced salt levels in manure
The manure is easier to dispose of since it is drier, richer in nutrients (nitrogen) and lower in sodium. Additionally, the nutrients in Natural Australian Zeolite containing manure are more available to plants and result in increased plant growth. Many commercial organic fertilisers include Natural Australian Zeolite to improve plant growth, reduce seedling burn and reduce odour. The farm-feedlot can obtain these benefits as a by-product of the feedlot operation.
Valuable Soil Conditioning Properties
The Natural Australian Zeolite remains in the soil giving the ongoing benefits of increased CEC, pH buffering and nutrient utilisation. Overseas work demonstrates that addition of manures containing Natural Australian Zeolite, results in a vast and residual improvement in the crop producing ability of soils, especially lighter and sandy soils.
The Natural Australian Zeolite that remains in the soils represents a permanent improvement to the soil. Both here and overseas, Natural Australian Zeoliteis added directly to agricultural and horticultural soils on its own as a soil conditioner. When used in a feedlot situation this is a free benefit to the feedlotter.

Availability and Feedlot Product Range

There are two particle sizes available for feed-lots. These products can be provided in 25kg bags, 1-ton Bulka Bags or in bulk tankers.

Feed Grade Natural Australian Zeolite Powder...(minus 0.5mm)
General purpose use and is the most economical. This product best serves the farm-feedlot as it contains a range of particle sizes, at lower cost.
Fine Grade Natural Australian Zeolite Powder (<100um)
Where feeds or premixes containing Natural Australian Zeolite need to be pelleted, this is the most suitable product size.






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Werris Creek NSW 2341, Australia

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