Zeolite as a Rumen Buffer

Zeolite is an organic mineral derived from the reaction of volcanic activity and an alkaline water source. The water source can be either freshwater or saltwater. The deposit Ida Ore mines from is a freshwater source in efforts to eliminate additional sodium being added to compost. Zeolite has a unique,crystalline lattice structure. Arranges in a fixed and stable honeycomb framework, built from alumino-silicates. Clinoptilolite Zeolite is one of nature’s rare minerals that possess a negative charge. The negatively charged alumina and neutrally charged silica tetrahedral building blocks are stacked to form the honeycomb framework. This structure allows the pores to attract and capture cations (positively charged ions) such as ammonium, toxins, and heavy metals.

The high attraction for water and numerous positively charged ions (K+, NH4+, Ca2+,Na+, and Mg2+) can be reversibly bound or released depending on the surrounding conditions. Zeolites are beneficial feed additives for ruminants because of their high affinity for nutritionally vital species.

Ida Ore Mining LLC mines its Clinoptilolite Zeolite from a deposit along the Idaho and Oregon border called the Shayville deposit.The Idaho Department of Agriculture have certified the mining processes and product as approved for organic production (#14-858).Tests that have been done on this deposit show contents close to the ones below. Tests can vary slightly from different sample sites. Ida Ore’s Min-Tech is screened to a mesh of 40. That is about the consistency of an ultra fine powder, such as talcum.

With today’s high-energy feeding practices, the cows natural buffer of saliva is pushed to its limits. Hitting this limit means excess acids can build up in the rumen and cause poor feed efficiency. Zeolites have a quantitative affect on digestion by influencing rumen retention time or alteration of the turnover of fluid and particulate phases of digesta that creates optimum performance. Zeolites will provide a more stable Rumen environment with respect to nitrogen availability that is beneficial to both rumen microbial fermentation and animal performance.

Through their ion-exchange selectivity, Zeolite minerals act as sinks for the adsorption of excess Rumen Ammonium after feeding and gradually release it as the Zeolites are regenerated to their natural state by cations found in the saliva.

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