How to Improve Pellet Feed Quality

Many measures can be taken to improve the quality of the pelletised feed that you give to your livestock. This article discusses some of the changes that farmers who make their own pelleted stock feed can implement to improve the quality of those pellets. 

Increase the Conditioning Temperature

The quality of pelleted stock feed can be improved by increasing the temperature at which the feeds are conditioned after all the ingredients are mixed. Steam is usually used to condition the feed. Conditioning the feed helps to increase its digestibility. Your birds or animals will therefore extract more nutrients from the pellets in case you used a higher steam temperature to condition those feeds.

Use a Thicker Die

Thicker pelleting dies can also improve the quality of the pellets produced. A thicker die will exert a greater mechanical force on the ingredients so that they stay bound together for longer. Ingredients that are loosely held together can disintegrate while the pellets are transported to the feeding troughs of the birds or animals. Pellets that break up give the animals or birds the chance to select the ingredients that they prefer and leave those that they don't like. This makes it hard for the livestock to take in all the required nutrients. Pellet durability is therefore essential in ensuring that your livestock will consume all the needed nutrients.

Decrease Corn Particle Sizes

Corn is the ingredient of choice when selecting products from which livestock will derive energy. The size of the corn particles that are used during the pelleting process can affect how well the different ingredients will hold onto each other. Bigger particles are more likely to cause the pellets to disintegrate before being consumed by the birds or animals. Smaller particles are easier to pack closely during the pelleting process.

Use Fat Coatings

Increasing pellet durability can have an attendant shortcoming of making it harder for the digestive systems of the livestock to break those pellets to access the nutrients therein. This hardness can be reduced by applying fats as coatings once the pellets have been made. Those fats will then slowly penetrate the pellet so that it will easily crumble once a bird or animal eats it. The ingredients will also be less likely to stick to the walls of the feed mixer if you add the fats as a coating once pelleting is completed.

Ask someone with experience in the pelleting process to evaluate your methods and equipment. They can give you advice about the changes that you need to make to improve the quality of the stock feed that you make in pellet form.