Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide can be used for the production of soda treated grains which increases feed utilization by increasing bypass starch and improving rumen health in the animals.
The cow naturally produces sodium bicarbonate in it’s saliva which helps keep acid levels in the rumen stable and slows down bacterial degradation of the starch. When grains are treated with soda, the starch is rumen protected in a similar way. Less breakdown of starch in the rumen means that more bypasses into the intestine to be digested by the animal and not the rumen bacteria. As starch is ultimately degraded by rumen bacteria to volatile fatty acids, the reduction of available starch in the rumen also helps to stabilise the pH and prevent subacute acidosis.
Caustic soda can also be used as a disinfectant for outdoor areas and surfaces.