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Formation of Pellet Fines during the Feed Manufacturing Process, Transportation and Feed Line Delivery, and their Nutrient Composition

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 33(6): 921-926 . (doi: 10.13031/aea.12304) @2017
Authors:   Jon A. De Jong, Joel M. DeRouchey, Mike D. Tokach, Robert D. Goodband, Jason C. Woodworth, Steve S. Dritz, Charles R. Stark, Cassandra K Jones, H. E. Williams, J. Erceg, B. Haberl, L. J. McKinney, G. Smith, D. Van Otterloo, C. B. Paulk
Keywords:   Feed line, Feed mill, Feed truck, Fines, Pellet durability index, Pellets.

Abstract. Maintaining quality pellets with a low percentage of fines is essential to achieve growth performance benefits from pelleting diets for swine and poultry. Therefore, we investigated the formation of fines during the pelleted feed manufacturing process, transportation, and feed line delivery at the farm. A second objective was to determine the chemical composition of the pellets and fines. Results indicated that pellet durability index (PDI) was increased from the pellet mill to the fat coater, but decreased between the fat coater and load-out. Correspondingly, percentage fines were similar from the pellet mill to the cooler, but then increased at the fat coater and at load-out. Dry matter, ether extract, and acid detergent fiber were greater in fines compared to pellets, whereas crude protein was decreased in fines. The percentage of fines formed during truck unloading was not influenced by unloading speed but tended to increase from the front to the rear compartment. There was no effect of feed line location (6, 35, and 76 m from the bin) on pellet PDI, percentage fines, or the nutrient profile of pellets or fines. Across locations, fines had decreased crude protein and phosphorus, but increased acid detergent fiber, crude fiber, calcium, ether extract, and starch compared to the composition of pellets. Understanding the steps in the feed manufacturing and delivery process may allow for alternative methods to reduce the formation of fines in pelleted feeds.

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