I am a controversial scientist who work against normal theories. When I was asked to incorporate urea in cattle feed produced by Amul, my colleagues warned me about urea toxicity. When approached IVRI and NDRI, I got the advice that 1% urea can be used as per ISI standard. But in an automatic feed plant where a batch of 1 MT is made in 4 minutes mixing urea was an engineering problem. Any how I accepted the challenge and found out a solution by mixing calcite powder with urea to keep it in a mixing bin for free flow.
Later, I was asked to make a feed with higher percentage of molasses. While I was in Australia I saw the molasses block manufactured by ICI Australia with MgO. The process was expensive which would be unacceptable for India. Therefore, I developed an alternate process with bentonite gelling at 120 Deg C. Later, I could patent it in India and several manufacturing plants also could be developed. The usage of 15% urea again paused a threat to me. I carried out feeding trials in 100,000 animals in 14 states in India with not a single case of urea toxicity.
Still there were problems to be solved with the process. The energy cost was high to heat molasses to 120 Deg, and moisture loss during process increased the production loss. Over and above the melting of block due to low cost packing. In order to overcome the above problems I developed a Calcium soap which solidifes blocks, stops melting and adds bypass energy. I had also tried microwave energy for the process. The above hypothesis was accepted by a university in Australia to patent. However; I was asked to abandon the work and return to NDDB for no justification except a kitchen talk. This was revealed to me by Dr. Kurien after 15 years I left NDDB. Today, NDDB accepted the obsolete technology of CaO Blocks which increases the pH and reduces the intake by the animals. My own friends propagated the above denouncing my technology after I relinquished NDDB. Today, I have a better method by spraying sugar syrup to make better blocks. Such blocks could be rumen manipulator, bypass nutrient dispenser and non hygroscopic.
Bypass protein was my research work for 12 years. No one in India agreed to go for bypass protein feed production for the following reasons:
1. The feed cost will be high
2. No analytical method available to test the feed
3. No feeding trial result with bypass protein feed in India
I developed the test methods and trained my chemists. Moreover, bypassability of various protein meals in India was identified. Carried out a survey to examine the feeding regimen followed by the farmers in Haryana. Based on the findings I formulated a bypass protein feed with 30% CP of 60% UDP and 12 MJ/kg ME. It was hypothesized that the above feed is enough to be fed 60% of balanced cattle feed of ISI standard. Feeding trial with 60 milking cows was carried out and showed the result. By that time Amul Chairman late Mr. Babubhai Patel came to Dr. Kurien for a help to set up another feed mill of 300 MT capacity. Dr. Kurien called me to join the talk. The fund requirement for the plant was Rs. 20 million. I just suggested to change the formula and start bypass protein so no new plant will be required. Mr. Patel asked me to carryout a trial in 12 villages of Amul. Accordingly the trial was carried out by Amul Vets without my interference except that I supervised the feed production. On December 16th 1988, Mr. Patel ordered a complete change of feed formula with my bypass protein feed.
The results were so agonizing. The total milk collection in Amul dropped by 100,000 litre a day. Lots of customer complaints came against the feed. I could not walk in front of Dr. Kurien’s office. In 1989 January there was an International conference in NDDB. My colleagues in NDDB asked me why I did this gross mistake. None of my answers were acceptable.
I went to a village which was supplying full truck load of milk daily. I was known in that village as I had done lots of veterinary visits there in the past. I asked the secretary what is wrong with the new feed. He asked me to visit a farmer’ s house and get convinced my self. The farmer told me that cows had diarrhea by feeding the new feed. I could not see any loose dung there. He told me that it had in the morning and now it is ok. I talked to several of the farmers and returned to the society by silently praising God. Ultimately they told me that they have never seen such a best feed in life but the price is high. Therefore, help to reduce the price and every thing will be alright. Next day morning with pride I went to Dr. Kurien and narrated to him the story. He called Mr. Babu bhai Patel and offered him free milk powder to subsidize the feed price and to increase it after 6 months gradually. On July 14th the hottest day in Anand and the milk collection used to be the lowest the record was 1.5 lakh litres more milk. Next day Dr. Kurien approved my paper to leave for Australia for my PhD research.
Later, the rest of the dairies started to produce bypass protein feed. I encouraged AICOSCA the cotton people to produce cotton seed meal. I helped them a better extraction method. Also I wrote a booklet on Cotton seed meal a good bypass protein ingredient. The BIS also included bypass protein feed in its list.
My ambition for the development of a complete bypass protein feed had to be accomplished as my PhD work. I wanted to manipulate the milk fats with more PUFA through feeding. My observation of higher fat content in buffalo rumen bug had to be exploited for feed technology development. Anyway, the luck was not with me. NDDB asked me to abandon the work and return. When I returned Dr. Kurien expressed his doubt that I may not return to India after I get the patents in Australia. The desperate position forced me to abandon NDDB job and return with open hand to my poor state Kerala.
Today I find all the feed mills produce bypass protein feeds in India. My ambition to complete a ‘bypass nutrient feed’ (bypass protein, starch and fat) could not be accomplished and I relinquished my position in NDDB and came back to Kerala. In Kerala, I could set up 4 large scale feed plants including Kerala Feeds for which I was the technical consultant to design and select plant and machinery. I could develop a novel idea of ‘Broiler Goat’ a revolutionary concept of rearing goats with zero grazing and no fodder except 500g broiler goat feed per goat per day. I hope the above concept which was opposed by the scientific community under cover is not dead still.
Today I am working with the largest sugar refinery in the Middle East with 5000 MT sugar production per day. My latest development is feeding sugar for animal production. I am attaching a technical paper published in Watt Poultry on the concept. The recent research trials carried out in UAE University indicated the great potential of the concept to produce chicken meat and egg with low cholesterol. I will be able to send the paper after it is published in Poultry Science Association, North Carolina, USA.
I hope my friends would send me their valuable comments on the concept which would help to refine it scientifically.
Dr. P. George Kunju John
Brief biodata of Dr. George
Dr. George K John graduated in 1967 on Bachelor of Veterinary Science from University of Kerala, India. He then began to work as a veterinary officer at Amul dairy, the largest dairy cooperative in Asia. In 1975 George took up an assignment as animal nutritionist in the largest feed plant in India. He carried out extensive research in rumen manipulation and bypass protein after his post graduation from University of New England, Australia. In 1980 he joined with National Dairy Development Board and worked as feed expert to 49 feed mills and the head of R&D work under Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India to implement ‘Operation Flood Program’ the largest dairy project which took India the first in the world for milk production. He developed Urea Molasses Block, bypass protein feed, broiler goat and several feed supplements. Currently, John works as AFD Manager with Al Khaleej Sugar Co LLC, Dubai where a new approach to feeding of sugar to livestock is being developed.