livestock feed pellets processing technology

Q: My storehouse is full of pasture, but it is still not enough for feeding my cattle and sheep through the whole winter; while processing the pasture, it is full of dust. How can I deal with this problem?
A: make your pasture/hay/herbage into pellets. Hay can spontaneously combust when stored with too high of a moisture content. It also takes up a lot of space. Pellets are safe from combustion and are more compact. You don’t need a whole loft or shed to store them.

Livestock include cattle, sheep, cow, pig, camel, deer, rabbit, Alpaca, etc. that people raise for their meat, eggs, milk, leather, fur, and wool.

Many of these livestock animals can be fed with feed pellets, as feed pellets have higher nutrition density, more comprehensive nutrition, higher economic benefits (animals can digest, absorb and conserve better) and are easier to store and transport than traditional roughage (coarse fodder).
 

livestock feed pellets
 

Classification of livestock feed pellets

Generally livestock feed pellets have 4 kinds: pure forage (grass) feed pellets, complete diet feed pellets, concentrated feed pellets and premix feed pellets.
  • Pure forage (grass) feed pellet is a feed pellet that only makes from grass, hay, grain straw, stalk, alfalfa, etc. It is the easily making feed pellets for livestock farm.
  • Complete feed pellet is composed of four parts: protein feed (such as fish meal, bean and its oil cake/meal, etc.), energy feed (such as corn, wheat bran, etc.), coarse feed (also known as roughage, is composed of corn stalk, wheat straw, pasture, vinasse, etc.) and additives (like vitamins, microelements, salt, minaral feed, bone powder, etc.). By feeding livestock animals with complete feed pellets, you do not need to feed them other forage water. That’s why it is called “complete”.
  • Concentrated feed pellet is composed of energy feed, protein feed, mineral feed and some feed additives, and is mainly suitable for feeding herbivores such as cattle, sheep and rabbits. Concentrate feed pellet is to supplement herbivorous animals which are based on coarse feed, green fodder and silage, so it is also called concentrate supplement feed, or mixed concentrate feed. This kind of feed has incomplete nutrition, so it is only a portion of animal feed to supplement the nutrition that livestock lacks by only eating forage grass or silage feed pellets.
  • Premix feed pellet, whose full name is feed additive premix, refers to the feed pellets that are mainly composed of feed additives. There are mainly 3 kinds of feed additives: nutritive additives (including trace elements, vitamins, amino acids), drug additives (mainly for preventing disease and promoting length), and general additives (such as various kinds, such as mildew proof and incense enhancer, etc.). It is only produced by feed pellet manufacturing factories. (Want to build your own feed pellet factory? Click here!) Besides, premix feed pellet is only added 1%-6% in livestock daily feed according to animal species and growth stage.

cattle sheep pig rabbit feed pellets
 
Q: Why my cattle/sheep grow so slow? I have fed them so much fresh hay.
A: Even fresh hay is only called roughage forage (coarse fodder). Roughage includes pasture, crop straw, vinasse, and so on. If cattle/sheep only eat roughage, it will cause nutrition imbanlance and slow growth. If you want to improve feeding effect, and make animals grow faster, make some concentrated feed pellets for them!

If I want to make feed pellets for my livestock, how do I know the capacity I need?

Generally cattle, cow, sheep needs 0.1kg of concentrated feed pellets per day, and pig needs 0.25kg concentrated feed pellets per day. 3kg concentrated feed pellets can transform to 1kg of meat for animals. For making pure forage feed pellets of complete feed pellets, you need to calculate by yourself, or Contact Us for professional livesock feed pellet making consultation!
 
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Processing technology of livestock feed pellets

The following processing procedures are complete technical process for livestock feed pellet production, but in fact not all procedures are required in practical production.

  1. Raw material reception and storage
Livestock feed raw materials vary, they include: long material like crop straw, grains like wheat, maize, and others like oil cake/meal, additives, etc. different raw materials have different storage methods. For example, in complete feed pellet line of large capacity, storage silo is necessary for storing maize, wheat, and other grains.

  1. Feed material cleaning
The impurities in feed raw materials not only affect the quality of feed products but also directly relate to the feed processing equipment and personal safety. In serious case, the whole equipment can be destroyed, which impacts the smooth progress of the feed production, so the impurities must be removed in time. The cleaning equipment of the feed pellet plant is based on screening and magnetic separation equipment. Screening equipment is used to remove large and long impurities such as stones, mud blocks and sacks. The magnetic separator is mainly used to remove iron impurities.

  1. Feed raw material crushing
The technological process of feed crushing is determined according to the required fineness and the variety of feed. According to the times of raw material crushing, it can be divided into one stage crushing process, circulation crushing process or two stage crushing process. According to the combination form of batching, it can be divided into first batching, then crushing and first crushing then batching technology.

Q: It is so tired to deal with the fodder left after my livestock have eaten, and the fodder powder is also bought with money, I don’t want to waste it, what I can do?
A: If you make all your fodder raw materials into feed pellets, your livestock is not able to be picky; this can reduce feed wastage the largest extent.
  1. Feed material batching/proportioning process
At present, the commonly used batching processes include manual batching, volumetric batching, one warehouse one scale batching, etc. Manual batching is mostly utilized in small feed pellet plant and medium scale feed pellet factory (capacity 1-15T/h). In this batching technology, all feed materials are weighed manually by workers and poured into the mixing machine. As the whole process like measuring and proportioning is all operated by manpower, it needs less equipment investment and low production cost, and has flexible and precise measuring.

  1. Feed mixing process

There are 2 feed mixing methods: batch mixing and continuous mixing. Batch mixing is to blend all the components together according to the proportion of the formula, and mix them in the periodically running "batch mixer". This mixing method is convenient for replacing feed formula, and the intermixing between each batch is less, so batch mixing is commonly applied at present. However, as the start and stop operation is complex, the automatic program control is mostly used.

The continuous mixing process is a continuous measurement of all kinds of feed components at the same time respectively and proportionately matched to a stream containing various feed components. When the stream enters a continuous mixer, it is mixed continuously into a uniform flow of material. The advantage of this process is that it can be carried out continuously, easily with comminution and granulation, so the production does not need to operate frequently. but when changing feed formula, the adjustment of the flow is more troublesome and the material residue in the continuous conveying and continuous mixing equipment is more, so the intermixing problem between the two batches of feed is more serious.
 

  1. Feed pelletizing
There is 600-1000kg/h small feed pellet plant that uses flat die feed pellet machine and 1-15T/h medium feed pellet line that uses ring die feed pellet mill.

  • Flat die feed pellet machine: the mixed feed material is uniformly distributed into the feed pellet machne, and the rotating roller and flat die will press the material, and the densified material go though flat die holes to form cylindrical granules, finally desirable size (both length and diameter) feed pellets are cut by the cutting blades and discharged from the feed pellet machine outlet.
flat die feed pellet machine

  • Ring die feed pellet mill: in medium to large scale feed processing factory, feed material conditioning (tempering) is necessary, so ring die feed pellet mill is usually equipped with a conditioner on the top. The conditioning result directly influences feed pellets quality. The purpose of conditioning is to add water to the feed powder to let it has certain moisture content. After conditioning, the feed material is distributed evenly between the roller and ring die, so the feed pellets are pressed out through ring die holes, cut and discharged.
ring die feed pellet mill

  1. Feed pellets cooling
As in the process of pelletizing, the feed is input high temperature and humidity steam, and the squezzing process generates great heat, so the feed pellets moisture content can reach 16-18%, and temperature reach 75 ℃-85 ℃. Under this condition, the feed pellets are easily deformed and broken, and would bond and mildew in storage, so it is necessary to reduce their moisture to below 14% and decrease the temperature to below 8 degrees Celsius.

  1. Feed pellets crumbling
For making young livestock feed pellets of small size, crumbling is also necessary. In order to save electricity, increase the output and improve the quality, the feed material is often made into a certain size pellets in order to save electricity, and then broken into required smaller pellet size. But it is not a must for all feed pellets manuracturers.

  1. Sieving (screening)
In small feed pellet plant, this process is realized by the feed pellet cooler. But in larger capacity medium feed pellet line, if the crumbler is used, the pellet sieving machine is also needed, since it can separate the powder from eligible feed pellets, so that uniform feed pellets can be deliver to later packaging process, and the powder or uneligible feed pellets can go back for reproduction.

  1. Feed pellets packaging


If you want to start your own livestock feed pellet plant, or build a livestock feed pellet factory, please feel free to contact us for most professional guidance!
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